The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) approved a memorandum of agreement between itself and Federal Realty Investment Trust for the Orange Line T station. The station will serve as cornerstone for Assembly Row at Assembly Square, Federal Realty’s new mixed-use center in Somerville, Mass. When completed, Assembly Row at Assembly Square will include 2 million square feet of office space, 880,000 square feet of retail, 2,100 residential units and a 200-room hotel. The development will be accessible via Interstate 93 and the newly planned Assembly Row T station.

To date, Federal Realty has committed $15 million towards the construction of the new T station. The MBTA approval will allow the REIT to move forward with the design process for the station.

“The MBTA’s board vote is another significant milestone in this project,” said Don Briggs, president of Federal Realty Investment Trust, in a statement. “The vision of Assembly Row at Assembly Square would never be realized without the Orange Line T station. People from all over the Commonwealth are going to come to Assembly Row to work, shop, live and enjoy the parks and open space. A large number of them will rely on public transportation to get there.”

Shoppes at Boca Green Signs New Retailers

American Commercial Realty Corp. negotiated leases totaling 20,650 square feet at the Shoppes at Boca Green in Boca Raton, Fla.

Harmon Face Value, a division of Bed Bath & Beyond that sells cosmetics and health and beauty products, signed a lease for 7,400 square feet. This will be the retailer’s first store in Florida; Denny’s Children Wear signed an 8,600-square-foot expansion and relocation lease. Shoes N’ More signed a lease for 1,350 square feet. Davito’s Restaurant signed a 2,400-square-foot extension lease. State Representative Steve Perman signed a lease for 900 square feet.

New Tenant, Renovation Work to Start at Kentucky Oaks Mall

Charming Charlie signed a lease with the Cafaro Co. for a 7,000-square-foot store at Kentucky Oaks Mall in Paducah, Ky. The store will be the second Charming Charlie location in Kentucky. It is scheduled to open in late spring 2011.

Cafaro will soon start renovating Kentucky Oaks Mall with new entrances, upgraded HVAS systems, brighter ceiling treatments and modernized lighting systems both inside and outside the mall. The project will begin in March, with completion scheduled for November 2011.

Movie Theater Signs Lease at Marion Shopping Center

Ocala Center 6 signed a lease for a 16,500-square-foot six screen movie theater at Marion Shopping Center in Ocala, Fla. RMC Property Group represented the landlord in the transaction. The theater is scheduled to open in May 2011.

Voit Expands in Phoenix

Voit Real Estate Services expanded its Phoenix office into a new location. The new office will offer in-house asset services, property management, brokerage, construction and development services, financial analysis, condition assessment and market research.

Other Notable News

KeyPoint Partners LLC negotiated leases totaling 170,000 square feet in Massachusetts, Rhode Island Connecticut and New Hampshire in November and December 2010. Tenants included Barnes & Noble, Family Dollar, Ace Hardware, Planet Fitness, Olympia Sports and Ocean State Job Lot.

CB Richard Ellis hired Joseph Sarno as executive vice president and Jeremy Neuer as senior vice president in its East Brunswick, N.J. office. In their new positions, Sarno and Neuer will focus on providing commercial transaction services to corporate space users, as well as landlord advisory services. Prior to joining CBRE, Sarno served as executive director with Cushman & Wakefield. Neuer worked for Cushman & Wakefield as a tenant and landlord representative.

Grubb & Ellis Co. hired Patrick Bisceglia as managing director of investment services in its Stamford, Conn. office. Bisceglia has 24 years of experience in real estate. In the past, he has worked for CB Richard Ellis, Marcus & Millichap and Rockwood Realty Associates, among other companies.

Colliers International hired Ryan Kratz as director of brokerage. In his new position, Kratz will be responsible for brokerage services, business development, marketing and strategic planning for Colliers’ offices in Tampa Bay, Clearwater, Central Florida and Southwest Florida. Prior to joining Colliers International, Kratz served as assistant vice president with NorthMarq Real Estate Services.

Fisher Development Inc. hired John Austin as senior estimator. Previously, Austin worked for DPR Construction. He has more than 30 years of experience as an estimator.

Sperry Van Ness hired Paul Cawthon and Angelo Labriola as senior advisors. Prior to joining Sperry Van Ness, both Labriola and Cawthon served as commercial agents with the Chicago office of Inland Real Estate Brokerage.

Grapevine Mills appointed Kerri Bear as director of marketing and business development. In her new position, Bear will be responsible for marketing, advertising, public relations programs, selling in-mall media, securing sponsorships, coordinating promotional events and driving tourism. Previously, she worked as director of marketing and business development at North East Mall.

Cassidy Turley appointed Kelly Tamulonis as senior property manager. Tamulonis has 11 years of experience in real estate. Prior to joining Cassidy Turley, she served as senior real estate manager with the Pizzuti Cos.