REAL ESTATE

Developer who saw the writing on the mall wall about Sears

BY Al Urbanski

Reports are circulating in the business press this week about an impending bankruptcy filing from Sears, but one Northeastern mall owner began preparing for this day years ago.

Since 2012, the roster of active Sears stores at PREIT malls has declined from 27 to just four. In the last year, the Philadelphia-based company proactively replaced five Sears locations and has reached an agreement to recapture a sixth.

Brands now residing in former Sears spaces at PREIT malls include Burlington, Field & Stream, Sierra Trading Post, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Whole Foods, Tilt, and Edge Fitness.

“Just as we were proactive in disposing of lower-productivity malls, we have positioned ourselves well with minimal exposure to Sears in the event of potential material store closing event,” said PREIT CEO Joe Coradino.

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REAL ESTATE

Simon looks to remake mall with an NHL team

BY Al Urbanski

Simon Property Group has always striven to put its malls cut above the rest with top-drawer tenants. Now it’s pushing the experience envelope by courting a National Hockey League franchise.

Simon has joined the effort of NHL Seattle to bring a team to that town. Should it come to fruition, the new franchise’s headquarters and training center will become the centerpiece of a transformation of Seattle’s Northgate Mall into a “world class, transit-oriented mixed-use center,” COO Michael McCarty said at the announcement of the partnership at Northgate yesterday.

Earlier this year, Simon announced a multi-year project to take advantage of a planned light rail station near Northgate to make it over as mixed-use with the addition of some 1,200 residential units, 800,000 sq. ft. of office space and 500,000 sq. ft. of retail.

The promise of an NHL headquarters alters Simon’s plan to include a large central park and gathering space that would incorporate the practice facility and link it to the rest of the project and nearby neighborhoods.

A press release from Simon stated that the project would feature a “next generation anchor by blurring the lines and creating a unique indoor/outdoor, publicly accessible space.”

That’s if Seattle gets its hockey team. It’s considered a leading candidate because the NHL is absent from the northwest market, but the renovation of Key Arena, where the team would play, is not scheduled for completion until 2020. Other contenders for franchises like Kansas City, Houston, and Quebec City have arenas in place.

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CBL malls devote weekend to breast cancer awareness

BY Al Urbanski

Thousands of women got together in malls this weekend — but to spread breast cancer awareness, not shop.

CBL Properties sponsored a series of Spotlight Socials in 33 malls across its portfolio over the weekend for fashion, beauty, fitness, and food events conducted in concert with several national and local charities.

“In the U.S., a woman is diagnosed with breast cancer every two minutes. This event shined a light on the organizations in CBL’s markets that do vitally important work to help women navigate this diagnosis every day,” said CBL corporate communications director Stacey Keating.

Participating organizations included Susan G. Komen Foundation, the American Cancer Society, the Mary Ellen Locher Breast Cancer Center of Excellence, UK Markey Cancer Center, and Florida Cancer Specialists.

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