Arlington, Va.-based Mills Corp. recently announced funds from operations for second quarter 2002 were up 3.9% to $0.72, but the REIT’s most interesting news flash came out of the human resources department. Mills chairman and CEO Larry Siegel announced the company has hired Jim Napoli, the former head of leasing at Simon Property Group (he left Simon in May 2002).

Napoli will bring broader leasing relationships to Mills at a time when the company is aiming to take leasing efforts in a new direction at its traditional projects and at new "non-Mills-formula" centers such as urban redevelopments Piers at San Francisco and 108 N. State Street in Chicago. For example, the company is currently undergoing a complex process of strengthening its anchor lineup by chucking Waccamaw Pottery, HomePlace and Service Merchandise leases in favor of Super Target, Kohl’s, Borders and Circuit City.

Mills also hired Nick McDonough, former CFO at McArthur/Glen, to serve as vice president and CFO. McDonough replaces Mills veteran Ken Parent, whom the company promoted to COO. Parent’s new role will focus on operating issues, contract negotiations and partner relationships.

Additionally, the company promoted former senior executive VP of development Jim Dausch to president of Mills’ development division. Dausch will oversee the company’s domestic and international external growth efforts.

Mills’ restructuring of its management team comes at a time when the company is the industry’s most active developer with three major malls opening during the next 18 months. Colorado Mills is set to open November 14, while St. Louis Mills and Madrid Xanadu open in 2003.