KidZania, a Mexico-based children’s entertainment and education provider, appointed CB Richard Ellis to identify and negotiate potential sites in the United States. KidZania plans to open stores in 12 to 14 U.S. markets, including New York City, Los Angeles and Chicago. The first location is scheduled to open in 2013.

KidZania locations average 75,000 square feet and can be part of an existing mall or family-oriented retail location.

Susan Kurland, executive vice president of CBRE Retail, will lead this assignment.

“For families, KidZania is entertaining, engaging, educational and fun,” said Cammie Dunaway, U.S. president and global chief marketing officer of KidZania, in a statement. “For malls, it provides high repetition entertainment that drives traffic. We’re very unique with only one location per market, so it’s critical we establish ourselves in the right spot. CBRE has unequalled experience in matching brands with the best retail partners. We’re thrilled to have them on board.”

In an unrelated announcement, CBRE hired Philip Grossberg as managing director of its client solutions practice. Grossberg has more than 20 years of experience in real estate. Prior to joining CBRE, he spearheaded real estate operations for Time Warner Cable.

In addition, CBRE hired Lisa Jesmer as director of asset services for the South Florida region. In her new position, she will be responsible for strengthening client relationships and new business development. Previously, Jesmer served as director of real estate for Jackson Health Systems.

Jones Lang LaSalle Wins New Management/Leasing Assignments

Jones Lang LaSalle has been appointed as the exclusive leasing agent for the following properties:

  • The Streets of West Chester, a 167,915-square-foot open-air shopping center in West Chester, Ohio. Barnes & Noble, Rave Motion Pictures, J. Jill and Chico’s anchor the property.
  • Parkway Center South, a 130,029-square-foot open-air center in Grove City, Ohio. T.J. Maxx, Bed Bath & Beyond, Staples and PetSmart serve as anchors for the property.
  • Mellor Park Mall, a 253,628-square-foot open-air center in El Dorado, Ark. JC Penney is the largest tenant in the center.
  • Southern Pines Marketplace, a 57,404-square-foot open-air center in Southern Pines, N.C. Stein March, Olive Garden and Golf Augusta anchor the property.
  • Hickory at Promenade, a 15,523-square-foot shopping center in Hickory, N.C. Walmart Supercenter shadow anchors the property.

In addition, Jones Lang LaSalle has been appointed as the property manager for an 8,400-square-foot retail space in New York City and for the Southside at McEwen, a mixed-use development in Cool Springs, N.C. The property contains approximately 45,000 square feet of retail space.

Grosvenor to Refurbish Rice Lake Square Center

Grosvenor Americas will refurbish Rice Lake Square, a 250,000-square-foot shopping center in Wheaton, Ill. The project will include site plan improvements, redesign of anchor store facades, a comprehensive lighting renovation and the addition of 22 new parking stalls, among other things. Work on the center is scheduled to be completed in the fall of 2011.

Simon Rebranding Food Court at Boca Raton Center

Simon Property Group began the redesign of the food court at the Town Center at Boca Raton in Boca Raton, Fla. As part of the redesign, the fabric roof structure at the property will be replaced with a sloping architecture featuring clerestory windows, old fixtures will be replaced with the latest lighting technology, restrooms will be updated and banquette and reupholstered seating arrangements will be added to create a café look. The food court will be rebranded as The Cafes at Boca. In addition, the space will feature an expanded, 19,862-square-foot Forever 21 store. CSO Architects will be in charge of the project, which is scheduled to be completed in October 2011.

Eastwood Mall Macy’s to Get an Upgrade

Cafaro Co. will renovate a 157,000-square-foot Macy’s store at Eastwood Mall in Niles, Ohio. The multi-million dollar project will include new flooring, ceiling and wall treatments, new fixtures, accent lighting and reconfigured aisles to improve traffic flow and sight lines. The project is scheduled to be completed in time for the 2011 holiday season. Macy’s will remain open for business throughout the renovation.

Block Real Estate Opens Atlanta Office

Block Real Estate Services LLC opened an office in Atlanta. The new office will provide asset, property and construction management services to the firm’s portfolio of commercial properties in the Atlanta metro area. Bert Calvert will oversee the operations of the Atlanta office. He has more than 35 years of experience in commercial real estate.

Express Launches New Store Design

Express Inc. launched a new store design concept at the King of Prussia Mall in King of Prussia, Pa. The new concept features 13,000 square feet of space, with 10,500 square feet devoted to sales space. It employs modern industrial fixtures, displays and textures, aged oak wood floors and glossy white walls that divide the space into rooms. A two-tiered black wood display forms a “runway” down the middle of the store. Japanese firm Wonderwall designed the new concept.

Colliers Appoints Whitt COO of Real Estate Management

Colliers International hired Karen J. Whitt as chief operating officer of real estate management services. Whitt has 20 years of experience in the real estate industry. Prior to joining Colliers International, she served as president of property management/strategic accounts with Grubb & Ellis Management Services Inc.

In a separate announcement, Colliers International South Florida hired Joe Abood as a project manager. Abood specializes in the supervision of turnkey improvement build-outs, interior office and retail improvements and common area interior renovations. Previously, he ran his own company, Abood & Associates Construction Inc.

CPEX Appoints New COO

CPEX promoted Greg Roberts to chief operating officer. In his new position, Roberts will oversee the company’s day-to-day operations, including company systems, accounting, human resources, public relations and business development. Previously he served as managing director.

Centro Completes Multiple Leases

Centro Properties Group negotiated the following transactions:

  • Frank Theatres signed a 22,500-square-foot lease at Stone Mountain Festival in Stone Mountain, Ga. Todd Gordon, of Gordon Realty, represented the tenant in the transaction. Jessica Gelling represented Centro in-house.
  • Jo-Ann Fabrics and Crafts signed a 13,865-square-foot lease at Freshwater-Stateline Place in Enfield Conn. Tim McNamara, of Sullivan Hayes Cos. Northeast LLC, represented the tenant in the transaction. Charles Davis served as an in-house representative for Centro.
  • Save-A-Lot signed an 18,468-square-foot lease at Morse Shores in Fort Myers, Fla. Sandia Wasserman, of Florida Retail Partners, represented the tenant in the transaction. Siobhan Pecora served as an in-house representative for Centro.

In addition, Centro negotiated smaller leases with the following retailers: Packard’s Games and Movies, Check Into Cash, Denny’s, Uptown Chic, One Hot Cupcake, Jewels, Anna’s Linens, Silhouette Dance Fitness, Evercare Pharmacy, Smart Simple Wireless, Smoker’s Express, Orange Theory Fitness, The Rack Apparel, Westbury Bank, Simply Frosted, Label Shopper and Quest Diagnostics.

Regency Brings Mariano’s Fresh Market to Chicago’s Riverview Plaza

Mariano’s Fresh Market signed a lease with Regency Centers for a 51,298-square-foot store at Riverview Plaza in Chicago, Ill. The store is scheduled to open in late summer of 2011. Riverview Plaza is currently undergoing a $14 million redevelopment that will include a new exterior façade, upgraded architectural components, parking lot improvements and new walkways, site lighting, landscaping and signage.

Anthropologie to Open Another Store in New York City

Anthropologie signed a lease for a 15,000-square-foot store on the corner of Third Avenue and 71st Street in New York City. The location formerly housed a Lowes movie theater. Gene Spiegelman and Michael O’Neill, of Cushman & Wakefield, represented the landlord in the transaction. Stephen Plourde, of McDevitt & Co., and Beth Rosen, of Robert K. Futterman & Associates, represented the tenant.

Smok’n Pig BBQ Takes Space at Macon Mall

Smok’n Pig BBQ signed a lease for approximately 15,000 square feet of space at the Macon Mall in Macon, Ga. Hull Storey Gibson Cos. LLC will handle the build-out for the restaurant. Macon Mall is about to undergo major redevelopment.

Dallas BBQ Comes to Queens

Dallas BBQ signed a lease with Vornado Realty Trust for a 10,500-square-foot space at 61-35 Junction Boulevard in Queens, N.Y. Marc Durst and Doug Weinstein, of Sholom & Zuckerbrot Realty, represented the tenant in the transaction. Ripco Real Estate represented the landlord.

Other Notable News

Vitamin Cottage Natural Food Markets Inc. signed 10-year a lease with Agree Realty Corp. to take over a former Borders space in Wichita, Kan.

Voit Real Estate Services hired Ronald Beck in its San Diego office. Beck has more than 20 years of experience in investment sales and leasing. Previously, he served as senior vice president with Coldwell Banker Commercial.

Lee & Associates hired Robyn Smart as a senior advisor in its Indianapolis office. In her new position, Smart will be responsible for all aspects of retail brokerage. Prior to joining Lee & Associates, she served as an advisor with CB Richard Ellis.