Staubauch aids Hobby Lobby's entry into Atlanta market Oklahoma City-based Hobby Lobby has made its entrance into Georgia by signing seven, 10-year leases in the metro Atlanta area. The Staubach Co. of Dallas represented Hobby Lobby in the negotiations, which total approximately 400,000 sq. ft.

Stores will be located in Cartersville, Cumming, Acworth, Morrow, Fayettville, Austell and Buford, Ga. Hobby Lobby will fill space left vacant by West Home, Winn Dixie, Kmart, Levitz Furniture and Wal-Mart.

Sawmill site becomes Old Mill District at River Bend The Old Mill District at River Bend, formerly a 270-acre sawmill, will be transformed into a mixed-use project by River Bend Limited Partnership in Bend, Ore. Located on the Deschutes River, the development will include 86,000 sq. ft. of retail and restaurant space and 25,000 sq. ft. of office space. Construction on the first phase is expected to begin in May with completion scheduled for summer 2001. Project buildout is expected to take 15 to 20 years.

The Old Mill District will be divided into six areas: Village Center, complete with the sawmill's 1922 brick powerhouse building and its three smokestacks, will be the retail and restaurant sector; Northside Terrace and Upper Terrace will be office, R&D and light manufacturing; Blakely Road Terrace will be residential; West Side will be a combination of residential and entertainment including an amphitheater and an ice skating/rollerblading arena; and Wilson Avenue gateway will be the main entrance to the project.

NLP*Net Lease Properties tops $100 million in 1999 Dallas-based NLP*Net Lease Properties has wrapped up 1999 with more than 2 million sq. ft. of space valued in excess of $100 million in its portfolio. A sale-leaseback transaction for Value City Department Stores and Institutional Jobbers Co. Inc. in December 1999 resulted in more than $40 million in production.

NLP*Net Lease Properties, formed in 1998, is a joint venture of The Staubach Co. in Dallas and New York-based Westbrook Partners.

RTKL awarded design contract for Montecito Tower Center RTKL Nevada Corp., a subsidiary of Los Angeles-based RTKL, has been awarded the architectural and design contract for Montecito Town Center located on the outskirts of Las Vegas.

Slated to open in 2002, phase one of the center will include a cinema-anchored Main Street design with lifestyle retailers, restaurants and a small hotel. The second phase of the project will feature a supermarket-anchored convenience center.

GMAC arranges $42.2 million financing for Whitehall Street Horsham, Pa.-based GMAC Commercial Mortgage Corp. has arranged $42.2 million in permanent financing on behalf of Whitehall Street Real Estate LP, a division of New York-based Goldman Sachs and Johnstown, Pa.-based Zamias Services Inc. Financing was provided for the purchase of six regional malls. Zamias received preferred equity with a floating interest rate financing.

The 3.8 million sq. ft. of retail space is in Louisiana, Texas, New Mexico and Oklahoma.

R.J. Brunelli & Co. brokers $42 million sale of Essex Green Essex Green center in West Orange, N.J., has been sold to CIN Essex Green LP for $42 million. Old Bridge, N.J.-based Brunelli & Co. was named the leasing agent and represented CIN Essex, a joint venture between an affiliate of Investcorp International Inc. of New York and Crow Holdings of Dallas. Chicago-based Jones Lang LaSalle brokered the sale on behalf of the seller, New York-based MONY Life Insurance Co.

Anchors of the 352,000 sq. ft. center include Sterns, Sears Hardware, Petco, a nine-screen General Cinema and Shop-Rite. Additional tenants include Panera Bread, Dress Barn, Radio Shack, TGI Fridays and GNC. The center is 90% leased.

Koll Development Co. enters Portland area retail market In April, Newport Beach, Calif.-based Koll Development Co. will begin development on Wood Village Town Center, the company's first retail endeavor in the Portland, Ore., area. Located in Wood Village, Ore., the $50 million, 470,000 sq. ft. center will include retail and a commercial complex. Construction is slated for completion in March 2001.

Anchoring the center are Fred Meyer and Lowe's. The center will also feature specialty retail shops and restaurants.

Portland, Ore.-based Sienna Architecture Co. designed Wood Village Town Center, and Commercial Realty Advisors, also of Portland, is marketing the project.

Stonebriar Centre signs additional 14 retailers Chicago-based General Growth Properties has signed 14 new leases at its Stonebriar Centre near Dallas. The 1.6 million sq. ft. super regional mall has signed J. Crew, Abercrombie & Fitch, Charlotte Russe, Banana Republic, Ann Taylor, Talbots & Talbots Petites, Eddie Bauer, Guess, Gap, Rampage, Casual Corner and American Eagle. The center is slated to open in August.

Nordstrom, Macy's, Foley's, JCPenney, Sears and the first-ever Galyan's in Texas, have also committed to Stonebriar Centre. There will be approximately 185 retail shops, restaurants, a 24-screen AMC theater and an NHL-sized ice arena in the project.

Baita represents Jebco in Atlanta center purchase Atlanta-based Baita International LLC arranged the $11.9 million purchase of Battle Ridge center in Powder Springs, Ga., for a German-funded partnership. The seller, Atlanta-based Jebco Ventures, will manage the property for the buyer. First mortgage financing was provided by Columbus, Ohio-based Nationwide Insurance and was arranged by L.J. Melody & Co. of Atlanta.

The 103,517 sq. ft. retail center, anchored by Kroger, is nearly complete. Other retailers in the center include Community Trust Bank, BellSouth Mobility and H&R Block.

Florida's Santa Rosa Mall receives $7 million facelift (rendering) Construction has begun on a $7 million renovation of Santa Rosa Mall in Fort Walton Beach, Fla. The 752,000 sq. ft. regional mall is 23 years old and will undergo an extensive restoration of entrances, lighting, flooring and landscape.

Anchors include Dillard's, McRae's, Sears and JCPenney. The center also has more than 120 specialty stores with a food court and two restaurants.

Montgomery, Ala.-based Jim Wilson & Associates developed and built Santa Rosa Mall and will be the construction manager on the project. Birmingham, Ala.-based companies Crawford McWilliams Hatcher Architects Inc. and Hoar Construction serve as architect and general contractor, respectively.

Bryant Development Corp. acquires 1.4 million sq. ft. of retail Purchase, N.Y.-based Bryant Development Corp. has acquired an eight center, 1.4 million sq. ft. portfolio from The Pennsylvania Public School Employees Retirement System for an undisclosed amount. Centers involved in the sale include Market Place in Temple, Texas; Anderson Mill; Century South; North Park; Round Rock West; Springdale; Towne Square; and West Woods, all in Austin, Texas.

Major tenants include HEB Grocery, Stein Mart, Montgomery Ward, Academy Sporting Goods, Hobby Lobby and Michael's. The property is 95% leased and is managed by Chicago-based RREEF.

The Woodlands Operating Co. sells six retail properties The Woodlands Operating Co. of Houston has sold six retail properties to Amerishop Real Estate Services of Dallas for $51 million. The portfolio, already 98% occupied, includes 452,000 sq. ft. of freestanding properties and neighborhood centers.

The properties include freestanding Wherehouse Music and 17-screen Tinseltown theater; a strip center occupied by Jason's Deli and the Mattress Firm; Pinecroft I Center, anchored by Target, Marshall's and Barnes & Noble; Pinecroft II Center, anchored by Office Max and Ross Stores; and Wood Ridge Plaza, anchored by Norwalk Furniture, Office Depot and Mattress Giant.

Los Angeles-based CB Richard Ellis Inc. brokered the sale, which was closed by Houston-based Stewart Title of Montgomery County Inc.

Philipsborn Co. provides $6.2 million in financing for Walgreens The Philipsborn Co. in Chicago, has arranged mortgage financing for two Walgreens drug stores in Rockford and Rock Island, Illinois. A long-term, fixed-rate mortgage for $3.3 million was provided for the Rockford property, and a $2.9 million long-term, fixed-rate mortgage was provided for the Rock Island property.

Financing for both stores was arranged through Omaha, Neb.-based Broadview Financial Services.

Transwestern Investment Co. purchases Fort Lauderdale center On behalf of Asian Realty Partners LLP, Chicago-based Transwestern Investment Co. LLC has acquired BeachPlace Shopping Center for an undisclosed amount. The 101,100 sq. ft. retail and entertainment center in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., will be located on 275 ft. of beach front property.

There are approximately 50 tenants in the center including Gap, Banana Republic, Express, Bath & Body Works and Marriott International.

Trademark, Bobeck begin phase II of Apple Glenn Crossing Trademark of Fort Worth, Texas and Fort Wayne, Ind.-based Bobeck Real Estate will begin the second phase of construction this summer for Apple Glen Crossing. The 475,000 sq. ft. shopping center is expected to open this summer.

Phase II construction involves 93,000 sq. ft. of retail space, which will be occupied by Dick's Sporting Goods, PetsMart, Pier 1, Shoe Carnival, Fashion Bug and others. Also during phase II, Wal-Mart will expand to a 210,000 sq. ft. supercenter.

The third and final phase of the project is expected to begin this summer, and will add 80,000 sq. ft. of retail space as well as an additional anchor.

The Mills Corp., Centerseat form alliance for entertainment programming The Mills Corp. in Arlington, Va., and New York-based Centerseat LLC have formed an alliance to provide entertainment programming throughout the Mills properties. Launched in February, the program will expand The Mills Television Network, which targets shoppers. Music, film, lifestyle, science and technology, sports and kids will be the focus of the alliance with selections from original and acquired content broadcast on Centerseat.com.

Centerseat's programming will be presented at Potomac Mills, Franklin Mills, Sawgrass Mills and The Oasis at Sawgrass Mills, Gurnee Mills, Ontario Mills, Grapevine Mills, Arizona Mills, Concord Mills, and Katy Mills.

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.