North American Properties received key approvals to develop Avalon, a $600 million, resort-inspired mixed-use project in Alpharetta, Ga. The complex will include approximately 559,000 sq. ft. of retail and restaurant space, including a While Foods Market and a 14-screen Regal Cinemas movie theater; about 640,000 sq. ft. of office space, developed and managed by Greenstone Properties; a 300-room full service hotel and a 175-room boutique hotel; 250 residential units; and 132 townhomes and detached single-family homes.

“Alpharetta is an affluent community and locals want and deserve a luxury shopping experience they can’t currently find in the Southeast,” said Mark Toro, managing partner with North American Properties, in a statement. “We are thrilled that the Alpharetta community has embraced our vision for Avalon.”

The project’s opening is scheduled for October 2013.

Taubman Centers, Benderson Development Plan to Start Construction on Sarasota’s New Mall

Taubman Centers Inc. and Benderson Development will begin construction on the Mall at University Town Center, a $315 million, 880,000-sq.-ft. enclosed regional mall in Sarasota, Fla.

The two-level mall will feature a 160,000-sq.-ft. Macy’s, a 180,000-sq.-ft. Dillard’s, an 80,000-sq.-ft. Saks Fifth Avenue and approximately 115 in-line stores.

Opening is scheduled for the fall of 2013. Taubman will be responsible for developing, managing and leasing the center.

“The Mall at University Town Center will be one of the premier shopping destinations on the west coast of Florida and it will be the preferred shopping destination in the Sarasota region for locals and visitors alike,” said Taubman Centers President and CEO Robert Taubman in a statement.

Coyote Launches Third Party Management, Marketing and Consulting Divisions

Coyote Management L.P. created three new strategic divisions, including third party management, Coyote Creative and MER Interests Inc.

The third party management division will offer an intense, hands-on approach to leasing, marketing, construction and development services.

Coyote Creative will offer event planning, media buying, public relations services, branding, social media and web management, leasing and specialty leasing materials, trade area and market share analysis and business plan development and implementation. Kymberley Scalia, corporate director of marketing for Coyote, will lead this division.

MER Interests Inc. is a consulting group specializing in management, retail development, marketing and advisory services. Michael Rulli, chairman and CEO of Coyote, will be in charge of this new division.

Renovation Work Starts at Glendale Galleria

General Growth Properties began renovations on Glendale Galleria, a 1.5-million-sq.-ft. super-regional mall in Glendale, Calif. The project will include new stone and tile floors with pixilated patterns throughout the Central Avenue entrance and Target court, new hand railings and new chandelier at JCPenney Court, reconstruction of the Central Avenue Plaza, new signage and graphics throughout the center, an updated food court area, new family restrooms, relocated elevators and improved circulation.

TJ Maxx Signs Lease for Connecticut Store

TJ Maxx signed a long-term lease with Southaven Associates LLC for a 22,000-sq.-ft. store at Southbury Plaza in Southbury, Conn. Jason Wuchiski and Tyler Lyman, of RHYS Commercial, negotiated this transaction.

H&M to Take Over Border’s Space at Downtown Silver Spring in Maryland

H&M signed a lease with The Peterson Cos. for an 18,000-sq.-ft. store at Downtown Silver Spring in Montgomery County, Md. The retailer will take over the majority of a former Border’s store. It plans to open its new location in September 2012. The deal will bring the center’s occupancy to 93 percent.

Party City Subleases New York Store from Duane Reade

Party City Corp. subleased 11,825 sq. ft. of space from Duane Reade at 223 West 34th Street in New York City. The new store will open in the second quarter of 2012. Matt J. Ogle and Patrick A. Smith, of SRS Real Estate Partners, represented Party City in the transaction. Jeff Winick, Ann LaCentra and Josh Siegleman, of Winick Realty, represented Duane Reade.

Other Notable News

Five restaurants signed leases for locations at Flats East Bank, a $500 million development in Cleveland. The restaurants include Toby Keith’s I Love This Bar & Grill, Ken Stewart’s, Lago, Flip Side and Dos Tequilas.

Charlotte Russe signed a lease for a 5,500-sq.-ft. store and Charming Charlie a lease for a 7,600-sq.-ft. store at The Outlet Shops of Grand River in Leeds, Ala.

Voit Real Estate Services hired Tom Swieca, Tony Archer and Sandie Smith as senior vice presidents and Dianna Bernard as marketing assistant. Swieca has more than 32 years of experience in commercial real estate. Previously, he worked as senior vice president at Grubb & Ellis. Archer has 20 years of experience, most recently in the retail group at Grubb & Ellis. Smith has 22 years of experience, including as senior vice president at Grubb & Ellis and 20 years with CBRE.

Brixmor appointed Christine Leising as vice president of national accounts, Robert Dake as national account associate, Erin Gleavy DeSalle as vice president of ancillary income and Laura McLaughlin as manager of ancillary income. In addition, Brixmor hired 11 new leasing associates, including Cheri Dolas, who will serve as vice president of leasing for the Southwest region; Garen White, leasing representative in the Central region; Jeffrey Lautenback, senior leasing representative in the Midwest; Peter Flynn, senior leasing representative in the Northeast; Brigette Johnson and Nichole Katulich, senior leasing representatives in the South; Garrett LeBlanc and Phillip Magne, leasing representatives in the Southeast; and Linda Berger and Tammy Hovhannesian, leasing representatives in the Mid-Atlantic.

Altoon Partners appointed Leslie Young as director of strategic development. Young worked at the firm from 1997 to 2003. Prior to rejoining Altoon Partners, she worked at other companies specializing in marketing and project management.

Marcus & Millichap Real Estate Investment Services promoted Steve A. Sauter to first vice president of investments. Sauter previously worked as vice president of investments. He has been with the firm since 1992 and specializes in the sale of retail investment properties. In addition, Marcus & Millichap appointed Jon Hendrickson as associate director of the firm’s national retail group in Denver, Colo. Hendrickson has been with the firm since December 2004.