Federal Realty Investment Trust has executed a 60,000-sq.-ft. lease with AMC Theatres for a 12-screen theatre at Assembly Row, a mixed-use development in Somerville, Mass.

Auditoriums at the new AMC Theatres location will feature upgraded seating, premium sound and 100 percent digital projection. AMC is also evaluating additional amenity possibilities including a marketplace concession area, a MacGuffins bar and lounge area, where guests can enjoy a beer, wine or cocktail before, during or after the movie, and an IMAX auditorium.

"The execution of the AMC lease is important because it sets a tone for the development, cements a major anchor, and helps define our commitment to delivering a first-class experience with one of the best movie exhibitors in the business," Chris Weilminster, Federal senior vice president, leasing, said in a statement. "We look forward to making additional announcements of signed leases over the coming months as our retail lineup gets finalized."

Assembly Row is one of New England's largest in-progress developments, spanning over 50 acres. It will offer 1.75 million sq. ft. build-to-suit office and lab space, up to 2,100 residential units, and a mix of entertainment, outlet shopping, dining and open space.

Construction on the theater building is expected to begin in the spring of this year and open with the first phase of the Assembly Row development.

Federal also signed binding documents with AvalonBay Communities for the first phase of construction at Assembly Row and the issuance of the Notice to Proceed by the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) for the construction of a new rapid transit station. These milestones clear the last two obstacles for construction to commence at Assembly Row. Federal expects to break ground on the project within 90 days.

The first phase of development at Assembly Row will encompass 575 residential units and 315,000 sq. ft. of retail space on four blocks. Federal Realty expects to invest between $145 million and $160 million in phase one, with an expected stabilization in 2015.

A portion of the first phase of Assembly Row will be delivered in conjunction with AvalonBay Communities. Federal Realty and AvalonBay Communities have executed ground leases and all contingencies necessary to proceed with the residential and retail construction have been satisfied. AvalonBay will develop approximately 450 residential units and the retail shells for over 100,000 sq. ft. of space on the ground floor on two blocks of Assembly Row's initial phase of construction. Federal Realty is in discussions with AvalonBay for the development of the remaining 125 residential units.

GGP Brings Von Maur to Perimeter Mall

General Growth Properties announced the addition of Von Maur department store as an anchor to Perimeter Mall, an Atlanta mall with sales of more than $550 per square foot.

The department store is projected to open in fall 2012. Von Maur will replace the soon to be vacant Bloomingdale's location. Von Maur joins a retailer line-up that also includes Apple, Nordstrom, Michael Kors, Sur La Table, and Forever 21 among many others. Perimeter Mall is a 1.6 million-sq.-ft. two-level center north of downtown Atlanta.

Acadia Realty Trust Makes C-Suite Promotions

Acadia Realty Trust promoted Christopher Conlon to executive vice president and chief operating officer, Jon Grisham to senior vice president and chief financial officer and Richard Hartmann to senior vice president and chief accounting officer. All promotions were effective on January 1, 2012.

Conlon previously served Acadia as senior vice president, leasing and development since February 2008. As COO Conlon will report directly to Acadia President and CEO Kenneth F. Bernstein. Conlon will continue to oversee the leasing, development and construction teams.

Grisham, formerly senior vice president and chief accounting officer has assumed the role of senior vice president and CFO. Michael Nelsen, formerly senior vice president and CFO, shall remain with Acadia through and beyond the transition as senior vice president and accounting and financial principal. Hartmann, who joined Acadia in 1997 and most recently served as vice president and controller, has been promoted to senior vice president and chief accounting officer.

PREIT Signs Deals with Regal, Charming Charlie and the Philadelphia Inquirer

PREIT announced a series of major leases at Moorestown Mall, Plymouth Meeting Mall and The Gallery at Market East.

In the first deal, PREIT executed a deal with Regal Entertainment Group to build the Regal Moorestown Mall Stadium 12 & Regal Premium Experience. The 56,000-sq.-ft. 12-screen theatre will open at Moorestown Mall, located in southern New Jersey, in time for the 2013 summer movie season.

As the first RPX in the market, the custom-built theatre will replace the existing United Artist theatre, and more than doubles its size. It will feature digital projectors, surround sound, 2D and RealD 3D, stadium seating with high-back rocking recliner seats, and Regal Express kiosks for automated ticket purchasing.

In a separate deal, PREIT is bringing Charming Charlie, to Plymouth Meeting Mall in suburban Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The 12,000-sq.-ft. store is scheduled to open in spring 2012.

Charming Charlie completes the center’s recently developed outdoor lifestyle retail wing, which is anchored by Whole Foods Market and Café and features LOFT, Orvis, Chico’s, Coldwater Creek, Jos A Bank, OLLY Shoes, and Message Envy. The store will also extend into the first floor of the two-level enclosed mall with additional accessibility from the mall’s common area.

Lastly, has signed a lease with Philadelphia Media Network Inc., owner and publisher of The Philadelphia Inquirer, Daily News, and Philly.com, for occupancy of 125,000 sq. ft. of space in 801 Market Street, located in Philadelphia. The building anchors The Gallery at Market East, both owned by PREIT. The firm is expected to move in to its new headquarters in summer 2012.

Sperry Van Ness International Taps Tucker-Gasser As Retail Head

Sperry Van Ness International has appointed Shari Tucker-Gasser as national director of retail properties for the firm. ucker-Gasser will serve as a liaison for Sperry Van Ness International’s retail affiliates covering 145 markets nationally, providing leadership, guidance and strengthening the retail capabilities of the franchise.

With more than 12 years of commercial real estate experience in retail sales and leasing, Tucker-Gasser has completed well over $1 billion dollars in retail transactions. She has advised clients including CW Capital, Wells Fargo, Standard Insurance and Peoples Bank. Currently, she is working with City of Peoria, Ariz. on a 26-acre, mixed-use redevelopment project in Old Town Peoria.

Tucker-Gasser serves as associate broker and principle of Sperry Van Ness LLC in Phoenix, where she advises clients on the acquisition, disposition and leasing of multi-tenant retail properties throughout the Phoenix metro market.

Vestar Wins 1.1MSF Management Contract

VestarCoventry Real Estate Partners to handle the property management of Buena Park Downtown, a 1.13 million-square-foot retail complex located in Buena Park, Calif.

Buena Park Downtown consists of Buena Park Mall, a 794,605-sq.-ft. enclosed mall; Buena Park Place, a 207,784-sq.-ft. open-air community center, and Park Center Entertainment Center, a 132.898-sq.-ft. open-air entertainment center.

Vestar currently serves as the property manager of the one-million-sq.-ft. Long Beach Towne Center and the one-million-sq.-ft. The District at Tustin Legacy. Vestar plans to revitalize the current marketing campaign at Buena Park Downtown to coincide with the evolving retail mix. They will also implement a new event plan after evaluating the existing program. Each of these is geared toward enhancing the consumer experience as well as embracing the community.

DDR Downsizes Junior Anchor Space to Bring Five Below to Atlanta

DDR Corp. announced new Five Below stores in consolidated small shop and downsized junior anchor locations at five Atlanta-area prime shopping centers.

These new locations represent the continuation of DDR's effort to strategically reduce small-shop space as well as right-size junior anchors and re-lease the residual space at attractive market rents. At the locations where Five Below will be occupying downsized space, DDR will realize rental increases of nearly 50 percent.

Five Below's new Atlanta-area stores will be located in prime shopping centers with excellent tenancy, affluent household incomes and dense population. Seven mile average household income for the centers averages over $96,000 and average seven mile population exceeds 328,000 people. All of the new stores are expected to open in 2012.

The new Five Below stores will be located at the following shopping centers:

  • Perimeter Pointe, a 353,000-sq.-ft. power center in Atlanta, where Five Below will occupy all of the residual space of a downsized Office Depot. Five Below will join anchors Babies "R" Us, HomeGoods, Michaels, Sports Authority, Regal Cinemas and Stein Mart.
  • Town Center Commons, a 160,000-sq.-ft. community center in Kennesaw, where Five Below will occupy two combined historically vacant small shop units. Five Below will join anchors Dick's Sporting Goods and JCPenney.
  • Marketplace at Millcreek, a 403,000-sq.-ft. power center in Buford, where Five Below will occupy two combined previously vacant small shop units. Five Below will join Bed Bath & Beyond, Costco, DSW, Marshalls, PetSmart and Ross Dress For Less.
  • Woodstock Square, a 393,000 square-foot prime power center in Woodstock, where Five Below will occupy all of the residual space of a downsized Old Navy. Five Below will join anchors Kohl's, Old Navy, PetSmart and ULTA.
  • Presidential Commons, a 371,000 square-foot prime power center in Snellville, where Five Below will occupy all of the residual space of a downsized Jo-Ann fabric and craft stores. Five Below will join anchors buybuyBaby, Home Depot, Jo-Ann fabric and craft stores, Kroger, Petco and Stein Mart.

Fameco to Manage 430,000-SF Stanbery Portfolio

Fameco Management Services, the property management division of Fameco Real Estate L.P., has been awarded the management assignment for Stanbery Development’s New Jersey and Pennsylvania retail portfolio.

The portfolio consists of two specialty centers in New Jersey and two in Pennsylvania. Wayne Neis will manage The Shoppes at Old Bridge in Old Bridge, N.J. and The Shoppes at Union Hill in Denville, N.J. The Shoppes at Susquehanna Marketplace in Harrisburg, Pa. will be managed by FMS’ Karen Cahill. Kathy Blessing will oversee The Shoppes at English Village in Montgomeryville, Pa.

Macy’s Signs Deals to Open Bloomingdale’s Oultelts at Paragon Centers

Paragon Outlet Partners, a retail real estate development firm headquartered in Baltimore, announced today Bloomingdale’s Outlet will open anchor stores at both its Paragon Outlets Livermore Valley and Paragon Outlets Grand Prairie shopping centers. Currently under construction, both properties will celebrate grand openings in 2012.

At Paragon Outlets Livermore Valley, a 543,000-sq.-ft. shopping destination serving the greater San Francisco area, Bloomingdale’s Outlet will occupy a 25,000 sq. ft. anchor location. It will join a collection of more than 120 top designer and name brands such as Barney’s New York Outlet, Brooks Brothers Factory Store, Dooney & Bourke Factory Outlet, Elie Tahari, Etro, J.Crew, Michael Stars, Neiman Marcus Last Call, Saks Fifth Avenue OFF 5TH and St. John, among many more, when the outlet center opens in November.

The leading retail chain will also open a nearly 25,000-sq.-ft. anchor store at Paragon Outlets Grand Prairie, a 420,000-sq.-ft. outlet center serving the Dallas/Fort Worth region. Bloomingdale’s Outlet will join more than 100 designer and name brands including DKNY, Joe’s Jeans, Lacoste, Michael Kors, Saks Fifth Avenue OFF 5TH, Tommy Bahama, True Religion Brand Jeans and Under Armour when the outlet center opens in August.

One Loudon to Bring Alamo Drafthouse Cinema to Northern Virginia

One Loudoun Holdings LLC, a joint venture of Miller and Smith and North American Sekisui House LLC and its retail development partner, Potomac Development Group LLC, announce today that Alamo Drafthouse Cinema will open a new location at One Loudoun in Loudoun County, Va.

The 34,000-sq.-ft. Alamo Drafthouse Cinema will be the first in the Washington, DC market area. Construction will commence in spring 2012 with a projected opening in spring 2013.The 34,000-sq.-ft. Alamo Drafthouse Cinema will be the first in the Washington, DC market area. Construction will commence in spring 2012 with a projected opening in spring 2013.

Alamo Drafthouse Cinema combines in-theater dining, drinks, films and events, all under one roof.

Other Notable News

CenterMark Development LLC signed leases accounting for over half of the gross leasable area of Village Green Shopping Center in Cleveland. Save-a-Lot Food Stores will replace Aldi as the anchor. Save-A-Lot will occupy 18,000 sq. ft. and expects the grand opening during the second quarter of 2012. In addition to Save-A-Lot, three new leases were executed in late 2011, raising the center’s occupancy by 14 percent.

Trader Joe's plans to open at Patriot Place in 2012. The 16,000-sq.-ft. store will be Trader Joe’s eighteenth Massachusetts location, and the only within a 15-mile radius of Foxborough. Trader Joe’s has leased existing space in Patriot Place’s South Marketplace between Christmas Tree Shops and Staples.

Matanky Realty Group secured the exclusive leasing agreement for the Canterbury Shopping Center in Chicago. The center is anchored by Big Lots, Fairplay Foods, Ashley Stewart, Citi Trends and CW Price. Vladimir Ganz and Terri Cox negotiated the exclusive right to lease at the 263,617-sq.-ft. center.