Articles

Despite sour economy, retail developers press on

Retail developers always have been an audacious breed. They spend millions to build shopping centers, confident that tenants will flock to fill the slots they didn’t prelease. To charge ahead these days takes more than the usual dose of intestinal fortitude. Everyone is nervous — from shoppers to lenders to retailers, many of which have […]

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Strip-mall developer scales back as housing slump hurts small retail centers

A local developer known for its strip centers has stopped building new projects, scaled back its staff, and is trying to
unload several of its properties in an apparent bid to survive. Williams Realty Group earlier this year
shuttered its custom-home-building operation, DayMarc Homes, and now observers are wondering if owners Dave
Crockett and Marc Freije can keep the rest of Williams afloat.

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New Lafayette Square owner pitching major expansion

Lafayette Square Mall could look a lot like the revitalized Glendale Town Center in a few years if the mall’s new owners get
their way. A proposed site plan shows that New York-based Ashkenazy Acquisition Corp. doesn’t intend to settle for filling
the mall’s ample vacant space.

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Creditor pursues Premier property

Wachovia Bank has begun foreclosure proceedings on one of Premier Properties USA Inc.’s most prized developments, a giant
Ohio lifestyle center anchored by Target and J.C. Penney. The Charlotte, N.C.-based bank also is foreclosing on a vacant former
Wal-Mart store in front of Premier’s Metropolis mall in Plainfield.

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Kite lands in hot retail spot

Another high-profile local developer is making a move to capitalize on the city’s hottest retail corridor, joining mall giant
Simon Property Group Inc. and upstart Premier Properties USA Inc. Kite Realty Group Trust paid $18.3 million for Rivers Edge
shopping center, a 111,000-square-foot property just east of Clearwater Crossing.

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Developers have new plans for corner

The retail juggernaut at 86th Street and Keystone Avenue could get even stronger in the next several years. Locally based
Premier Properties USA Inc. revealed plans in 2007 for a $750 million redevelopment of a prime corner near The Fashion Mall
at Keystone.

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Premier not afraid of going head-to-head with Simon

Premier Properties USA Inc. is preparing to go head-to-head with Simon Property Group Inc., the nation’s largest and most
powerful mall developer, across the street from Simon’s top-performing The Fashion Mall at Keystone. Premier is proposing
a 2.3-million-square-foot, $750 million development at 86th Street and Keystone Avenue called Venu.

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Fiercely private developer built strip-center empire

Sid Eskenazi fell in love with the board game Monopoly as a child. Buying and developing make-believe properties with make-believe money inspired the grade-schooler. And he was good at it. So several years later, Eskenazi began playing what he likes to call “adult Monopoly.” He bought one property at a time with real money.

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Pan Am buyer to raze rinks

A Texas firm has agreed to buy Pan Am Plaza’s 12-story office building and skating rinks and is planning to replace the rinks
with a more-than-$50-million restaurant and retail development.

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East end of Mass Ave poised for rebirth

Bustling foot traffic at lunchtime and at night helps sustain many of the restaurants, shops and galleries in the vibrant
Mass Ave downtown neighborhood. But few of the Massachusetts Avenue shoppers and diners on foot venture east of the psychological
barrier that is College Avenue.

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