ORIX, Snyder join forces on The Promenade Chicago-based ORIX Real Estate Equities Inc. and Los Angeles-based J.H. Snyder have formed a joint venture to develop The Promenade at Howard Hughes Center in West Los Angeles. The $63 million, 250,000 sq. ft. entertainment and retail center will be part of Howard Hughes Center, a 2.7 million sq. ft., mixed-use project, which will include office and hotel space. Ground has been broken on the retail segment, which is scheduled to open fourth-quarter 2000.

The Promenade's 1940s Hollywood style was designed by McLaren, Vasquez & Partners, of Costa Mesa, Calif. The center's open-air design includes Art Deco textures and motifs - terracotta walls and metallic decorative trim - which was in vogue during Howard Hughes' day.

Already 80% preleased, the complex's retail tenants include: a 19-screen Edwards Theatres multiplex and IMAX, Nordstrom Rack, Borders Books & Music, Islands Restaurant, Johnny Rockets and On the Border.

Newmark, New Spectrum form new company Newmark & Co. Real Estate Inc. and New Spectrum Realty Services Inc., both New York-based, have signed a letter of intent to become Newmark New Spectrum Retail Real Estate LLC. Newmark's and New Spectrum Realty's retail brokerage business will be combined and will commence operations March 1. Also, in May of 1999, Newmark & Co. formed Newmark Retail Financial Advisors LLC.

Specializing in national representation of retailers and owners, Newmark New Spectrum Retail Real Estate and Newmark Retail Financial Advisors LLC will offer its clients business development, operational assessment, real estate brokerage, Internet services, mergers and acquisitions, and liability management.

Futterman named New Roc City retail leasing agent New York-based Robert K. Futterman & Associates has been named exclusive leasing agent for 351,000 sq. ft. of retail space at New Roc City. Located in New Rochelle, N.Y., the 1.2 million sq. ft., mixed-use development opened in September 1999.

The $190 million development's tenants include Bally Total Fitness, Sports Plus and a 19-screen IMAX Theatre. Restaurants include Applebee's Neighborhood Grill & Bar and Chevy's Fresh Mex Restaurant.

New Roc Associates LP of White Plains, N.Y., is the developer.

Koll, Prudential to develop Flatiron Marketplace Newport Beach, Calif.-based Koll Development Co., in partnership with Parsippany, N.J.-based Prudential Real Estate Investors, is developing Flatiron Marketplace, a 1 million sq. ft., mixed-use complex in Broomfield, Colo. Chicago-based Banc One Capital Markets Inc. is providing construction financing for the $110 million project, and Los Angeles-based CB Richard Ellis is marketing and leasing the center. Construction is slated for completion in spring 2001.

Construction of phase I, which began in January, will feature 444,371 sq. ft. of retail and a 240,000 sq. ft., 450-room hotel. Anchors will include Nordstrom Rack, Linens 'N' Things, Best Buy and The Great Indoors. Restaurants will include Claim Jumper, Bahama Breeze, Mimi's Cafe, Red Lobster and Wahoo's Fish Tacos.

Los Angeles-based Altoon & Porter Architects designed the retail and restaurant portions of the project, which include Colorado sandstone finishes. San Clemente, Calif.-based Redmond Schwartz Design is developing the landscaping, and Denver-based CLC Associates will manage the onsite engineering design.

Hacienda Crossings nears completion Pleasanton, Calif.-based Opus West Corp.'s Hacienda Crossings, a 530,000 sq. ft. retail and entertainment power center in Dublin, Calif., is in its final phase of construction. Scheduled to pen this month are Pier 1 Imports, Athlete's Foot, Barbecue's Galore and a Regal Cinema with a 21-screen, 4,500-seat theater and IMAX. Some other entertainment village tenants already open are Old Navy Clothing Co., TJMaxx, Bed Bath & Beyond, Babies 'R' Us and Best Buy. Restaurants open include Mimi's Restaurant & Cafe, Macaroni Grill and Starbuck's Coffee.

Simon's Penn's Landing in early planning stages Indianapolis-based Simon Property Group is developing Penn's Landing, a 740,000 sq. ft. retail and entertainment project on the waterfront in Philadelphia. The project is slated for completion spring 2002.

The complex will include a 20-screen AMC theater, Ruby's Diner, Napa Valley Grill, FAO Schwarz, Borders Bookstore and Pottery Barn. The center will also house the 130,000 sq. ft. Please Touch Museum and will include a 4,000-seat outdoor performing arts facility. Penn's Landing will have a maritime motif with halls and promenades designed with rounded and smooth surfaces reminiscent of the 18th Century merchant ships and 19th Century ocean liners. The existing Delaware esplanade outside the project will be reconfigured as a city wall in the shape of a ship's hull. An aerial tram is being built to bring both sides of the Delaware River together.

Penn's Landing Corp., manager of the development for Philadelphia's central waterfront, will oversee the project. Washington, D.C.-based Ehrenkrantz Eckstut & Kuhn, is the architect for the project.

Baita International acquires Colony Square Atlanta-based Baita International has acquired Colony Square, a 435,248 sq. ft. center in suburban Houston, for $33 million. The company purchased the property for investors - a German-funded partnership and a group of Atlanta-based investors. The seller, who will also manage the property, was Sugarland, Texas-based Sugarland Properties Inc. Chicago-based Aegor provided financing, which was arranged by L.J. Melody & Co. of Atlanta.

Anchored by Lowe's, the 98% leased center's other retailers include Toys 'R' Us, PetSmart and CompUSA.

A new way to look at outdated theater leases With all the new high-tech, mega-screen, stadium-seating, multiplexes and IMAX theaters in existence today, what do theater owners and management companies do with out-of-date theater leases?

Michael Landes, attorney and entrepreneur, has an idea. A former chairman and CFO of RKO Warner Video, a subsidiary of Los Angeles-based RKO Century Warner, Landes has written a business method designed to cope with real estate problems associated with the increasing number of non-productive theaters.

His methodology covers an innovative method of negotiating or renegotiating theater leases. It provides property recycling services with the objective of eliminating or reducing ongoing tenant liability, as well as loss of profits by landlords.

"This method will offer exhibitors a single-source, experienced provider who can provide property and business analysis, lease advisory, negotiation, assignment services, property redevelopment and marketing expertise," says Landes.

As a result of bigger and better theaters, some theater companies, property owners and managers, need to recycle their non-competitive leases. Landes' solution is a success-fee compensation structure that pursues termination of the lease

Landes' method reviews the lease to discover any basis for ending the agreement. If necessary, Landes will undertake negotiations or develop a recycling plan to change the property's use to supermarkets, dinner theaters, offices or warehouses.

The goal is to provide a method of complete or partial non-recourse lease liability elimination so that theaters are not closed or converted to discount theaters or art houses; and deal with structures that cannot be easily revamped and more.

Landes will analyze the theater's viability including preparing schedules that detail income expenses and operations; review of all expenses including utilities; box office and concession grosses; payroll budget; repair and maintenance charges; and rent and tax expenses and gross operating income.

Landes then obtains,a surety bond, that assures the lessee that the release is legally enforceable and valid. He may then provide other alternatives for recycling the theater. Landes can advise the lessee on the operation and management of the property, which he claims will result in large savings to the lessee. This may include a bartering system, which may cause the client to gain a significant economic advantage. Landes' idea is licensed exclusively to Pilerian Financial Co. LLC.

Landes' methodology is an interesting concept. Only time will tell if it will be adopted by the many property owners and exhibitors who are dealing with this problem.