Joliet Crossings 2010 LLC appointed Newmark Knight Frank as exclusive retail leasing agent for Joliet Crossings, an open-air mixed-use development in Joliet, Ill. The 37-acre project recently underwent a financial restructuring under the oversight of Arthur G. Cohen and his associates, who were brought in by the owners of the project. Cohen has 50 years of experience in the real estate industry and helped develop more than 250 malls, including the Manhattan Mall, the first indoor mall in Manhattan.

Joliet Crossings sits along Route 59 development corridor in Illinois. It features approximately 350,000 square feet of retail space, with LA Fitness serving as the retail anchor tenant. The center also contains restaurants and entertainment venues and medical and office space.
Cohen and the Newmark Knight Frank team are working together to identify potential tenants for the property.

“Consumers today want retail destinations that provide experiences, from family entertainment and wellness amenities to upscale shopping and eating options,” Cohen said in a statement. “This is a concept that the real estate industry has been refining for several years and we envision Joliet Crossings as a prime example of where that concept is going.”

Morningstar Launches Practice to Evaluate Mortgage Servicing Firms

The Realpoint unit of Morningstar Inc. launched an operational risk assessment practice to evaluate the performance of mortgage servicing firms. The new practice will be part of Realpoint’s credit ratings business and will be based in Realpoint’s New York City office. Michael Gutierrez, formerly a managing director and head of service evaluations with Standard & Poor’s, will lead the practice.

“The addition of operational risk assessment capabilities adds another important component to Realpoint’s analytical scope,” said Robert Dobilas, CEO of Realpoint, in a statement. “We can now enhance our transaction-level ratings and analysis of mortgage-backed securities with a comprehensive assessment of the operational risk of the parties to the securitization process.”

Ironwood Opens Tilden Ridge in Pennsylvania

Ironwood Property Group opened Tilden Ridge, a 400,000-square-foot regional shopping center in Hamburg, Pa. Walmart Supercenter and Lowe’s Home Improvement serve as anchors for the property. The center is now 98 percent leased, with tenants including Pet Supplies Plus, GameStop, Wawa, Great Clips and Five Guys Burgers & Fries, among others. Metro Commercial Real Estate Inc. serves as leasing agent for the property.

KeyPoint to Represent Karma in Search for New Restaurant Locations

Karma Japanese & Chinese Fusion Cuisine appointed KeyPoint Partners LLC as its tenant representative. Karma, which operates one location in Westford, Mass., plans to expand within the state. The chain is looking for sites ranging from 3,000 square feet to 6,000 square feet in downtown areas, urban centers, power centers, lifestyle centers, neighborhood shopping centers and college communities. Don Mace, vice president of leasing, will handle this assignment on behalf of KeyPoint Partners.

Dollar Tree Signs a Lease at West Aurora Plaza in Illinois

Dollar Tree signed a lease with West Aurora Plaza LLC for a 10,900-square-foot store at West Aurora Plaza in West Aurora, Ill. The retailer will take the space formerly occupied by Aronson Furniture and plans to open its new location in June 2011. Marc Rubin, of Zifkin Realty Group, represented Dollar Tree in the transaction.

Richard Spinell, Barb Kading and Katie Hennegan, of Mid-America Asset Management Inc., represented the landlord.

Other Notable News

Regency Centers started construction on a 9,100-square-foot addition to Seminole Shoppes, a 78,240-square-foot grocery-anchored shopping center in Neptune Beach, Fla. The company has already signed leases with Hurricane Grill & Wings for 2,940 square feet and with TCBY for 1,400 square feet. The new building will be completed in late spring 2011.

Beirbrier Development Inc. completed the leasing program for the newly expanded Arlington Village Shops in Arlington, Mass. Gymboree Play & Music signed a 2,500-square-foot lease for the remaining space at the center. Casey Piche, vice president of Bierbrier Development, served as an in-house representative for the landlord. Tim Coyle, of Godino & Co., represented the tenant. In 2010, Bierbrier Development added 9,000 square feet to the property, bringing its total retail GLA to 25,000 square feet.

Graham Downes Architecture completed a 1,300-square-foot flagship retail store for Molly Brown’s Swimwear at The Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas. Graham Downes served as the principal designer for the project, with Maria Carrillo serving as the project designer. KLH Engineers provided mechanical, electrical and plumbing engineering, and The Penta Building Group was the general contractor.

Avison Young hired Spencer Bomar and Patrick Arnold as principals in its Atlanta office. Bomar and Arnold will focus on retail tenant representation and helping Avison Young develop its U.S. retail platform and grow its partnerships in Canada. Previously, both served as senior vice presidents with the national retail advisory services group at Transwestern.

Jones Lang LaSalle appointed Carson Good as managing director of capital markets. In his new position, Good will oversee the firm’s retail capital market business throughout Florida. Previously, he worked as a senior executive with the Trammel Crow Co., Pizzuti Org. and Intram Investments, as well as president of Good Capital Group.

NAI Capital hired Vicki R. Donkin as senior vice president in the firm’s Ontario, Calif. office. Donkin has more than 18 years of experience in commercial real estate. Prior to joining NAI, she served as vice president with Present Value Properties.

The Wilder Cos. announced several new appointments. Howard A. West II joined the firm as asset manager. Previously, West served as a real estate associate with Meketa Investment Group. Diane E. Lichauer joined the firm as general manager for Settlers Ridge, a 500,000-square-foot shopping center in Pittsburgh, Pa. She has 20 years of experience in property management. Alison Galgay was promoted to senior leasing representative. She has been with The Wilder Cos. since 2008. Ryan Feinberg was promoted to leasing and marketing associate. He joined the company last year as an intern.