Correction: The write-up on Linq has been corrected. The original version did not accurately reflect Caruso's role in the project.

Caesars Entertainment Corp. has retained Caruso Affiliated to develop The Linq, a $550 million urban district on the Las Vegas Strip. The center will combine retail, restaurants, entertainment and hospitality space. The focal point of the development will be The Las Vegas High Roller, a giant observation wheel. The wheel will be the tallest in the world at 550 feet. The Linq will also contain more than 200,000 square feet of gross leasable space.

As part of the development, Caesars and Caruso will revitalize Caesars' existing resort properties on the Strip, including the Imperial Palace, Harrah’s Las Vegas and O’Sheas casino. Caesars plans to create pedestrian connections between the Linq and all three venues.

“We are enhancing the allure of the resort experience in a coveted location, introducing an exciting new offering not only for guests occupying our own 24,000 Las Vegas hotel rooms, but also for all who live in and visit Las Vegas,” said Caesars President and CEO Gary Loveman in a statement. “The Linq is going to be the new address for fun at the center of the Las Vegas Strip.”

The project will create about 3,000 construction jobs and 1,500 permanent jobs. Groundbreaking has been scheduled for the latter part of the third quarter or the early fourth quarter of 2011, with opening of the Linq’s retail, restaurant and entertainment components planned for 2013.

Caesars has retained Caruso to oversee development, leasing, management, marketing and public relations for The Linq.

Paragon Starts Work on Outlet Center in California

Paragon Outlet Partners started construction on Paragon Outlets Livermore, a 543,000-square-foot outlet center in Livermore, Calif. The property is currently 64 percent pre-leased with tenants including Banana Republic Factory Store, Barney’s New York Outlet, Cole Haan Company Store, J.Crew, Michael Kors, Neiman Marcus Last Call and Saks Fifth Avenue OFF 5th, among others. Paragon plans to open the center in November of 2012.

New Leases Signed for Alabama Project

GBT Realty Corp. signed leases totaling 88,322 square feet at The Shoppes at Madison in Madison, Ala. The Shoppes at Madison is scheduled to open in March 2012. The deals bring the center’s pre-leasing level to 81 percent. They include leases with Pie in the Sky, Fulin’s, Dollar Tree, Petco, Kinnucan’s Outdoors, Great Clips, Rack Room, AT&T, Maurice’s, Sunset Tanz, Tiffany Nail Spa, Which Wich and Zen Berry.

MGHerring Group Signs More Tenants for The Village at Allen in Texas

The MGHerring Group signed leases totaling 35,000 square feet with 11 retailers at The Village at Allen in Allen, Texas. The Village at Allen is part of a 400-acre mixed-use development located in Allen and Fairview, Texas. The tenants included Pier 1 Imports, Metro PCS, Al’s Formal Wear, Raising Cane’s, Rudy’s Barb-B-Q, Sprint, Smoothie King, Bliss Cupcakes, Sun’s Tailor, Barbeques Galore and Bicycles Plus.

CBL to Expand Chattanooga’s The Shoppes at Hamilton Place

CBL & Associates Properties Inc. will undertake a 6,000-square-foot expansion at The Shoppes at Hamilton Place, a 125,000-square-foot retail center in Chattanooga, Tenn. The expansion will use an undeveloped parcel in front of the property to bring in new tenants, including Sweet Peppers Deli, Menchie’s Frozen Yogurt and Bath Junkie. The project is scheduled for completion in November.

Burlington Signs Small-Format Deal in Charlotte

Burlington Coat Factory signed a 10-year lease with Kimco Realty for a 48,000-square-foot store at Woodlawn Marketplace in Charlotte, N.C. The store will be the first small-format Burlington Coat Factory in the area. The retailer plans to open at the center in October.

Jay Chambers, of X Team International, represented Burlington in the transaction. Kimco was represented in-house.

Supermarket Signs 20-Year Lease at Urstadt Biddle’s Connecticut Property

BIG Y World Class Market signed a 20-year lease with Urstadt Biddle Properties for a 55,000-square-foot store at Townline Square Shopping Center in Meriden, Conn. Big Y and Urstadt Biddle jointly invested more than $3 million in the redevelopment of the site, which was vacated by another grocery store tenant in 2010. The new lease will generate approximately $900,000 in rental income for Urstadt Biddle during its first year.

Centro Inks New Leases, Hires Leasing Rep for Southern Properties

Dick’s Sporting Goods signed a lease with Centro Properties Group US for a 44,166-square-foot store at Esplanade Shopping Center in Oxnard, Calif. Jeff Straka, of Retail Select Services, and Scott Riddles, of CB Richard Ellis, represented the tenant in the transaction. Brian Baker served as in-house representative for Centro.

Harvey’s signed a 38,444-square-foot lease at Westgate in Dublin, Ga. Josh Durigan represented Centro in-house.

Shoe Carnival signed a 10,210-square-foot lease at Bardin Place Center in Arlington, Texas. Geoff Henrion, of Ranger Retail Partners, represented the tenant in the transaction. Michael Watson represented Centro in-house.

In addition, Centro signed smaller leases at centers around the country with Anna’s Linens, Tuesday Morning, J&M Sports, Tutti Frutti, Patty’s Closet, Sport Clips, Yog N Fruit, Jai Ho, Besta One Italian Restaurant.

In a separate announcement, Centro hired Daniel Germano as a leasing representative for the South region. In his new position, Germano will be based in Orlando, Fla. and will be responsible for leasing six community and neighborhood shopping centers totaling approximately 1 million square feet. Previously, he worked as a leasing associate with Crossman & Co.

Metro Commercial Helps Lumber Liquidators Expand

Metro Commercial negotiated seven leases totaling 46,000 square feet for Lumber Liquidators. The leases included locations in Kennesaw and Newnan, Ga., West Allis, Wis., Miami, Fla., Chambersburg, Pa. and Johnson City, N.Y. Brandon Anapol, Tom Londres, Dan Brickner, Steve Niggeman and Phil Azarik handled the deals on behalf of Metro Commercial.

Walgreens Reconfigures Empire State Building Space

Walgreens signed a 15-year renewal lease with W&H Properties for its 18,818-square-foot store at the Empire State Building in New York City. As part of the transaction, Walgreens will also exchange 10,000 square feet on the concourse floor of the building for 10,000 square feet on the second floor to allow Empire State Building Observatory visitors to enter the store as they complete their visit to the landmark.

Andrew Goldberg, Eric Gelber and Matt Chmielecki represented the landlord in the transaction.

Walgreens’ new space is scheduled to be completed in the first quarter of 2012.

Other Notable News

J. Jill appointed Scott A. Edmonds to its board of directors. Edmonds has 18 years of experience in specialty retail. Previously, he served as chairman and CEO of Chico’s FAS.

Cassidy Turley hired Greg Biggs, Randy Cooper, Rob Morris and Craig Wilson as tenant representation executives in its Dallas, Texas office. Biggs will serve as executive managing director and principal; Copper will serve as vice chairman of brokerage services and principal; Morris will serve as vice president and principal and Wilson will serve as senior managing director and principal. All four previously worked in Cushman & Wakefield’s brokerage services group in Texas.

CB Richard Ellis Group Inc. appointed Henry C. Lomax, Jr. as managing director in its Charlotte, N.C. office. In his new position, Lomax will be responsible for overseeing all of the firm’s operations in Charlotte. Prior to joining CBRE, he served as chief investment officer with Crescent Resources LLC.

Ryan Cos. appointed Mark Schoening as senior vice president of the company’s national retail group. In his new position, Schoening will lead the firm’s strategy to support U.S. retailers with optimum real estate and construction solutions. Previously, he served as vice president of retail development in the Midwest.

Marcus & Millichap Real Estate Investment Services promoted Kyle B. Matthews and Brian S. Munn to vice presidents of investments. Matthews has been with Marcus & Millichap since February 2005 and most recently served as associate vice president of investments. Munn has been with the firm since September 2004, most recently as senior associate.

Equity One Inc. hired Jeffrey S. Mooallem as vice president of leasing and development. In his new position, Mooallem will be responsible for acquisition and redevelopment activity throughout the West Coast. Prior to joining Equity One, he worked as senior vice president of development and leasing with Tumberry Associates.

Grubb & Ellis Co. hired John Ciofalo as vice president and director of operations in its management services business. In his new position, Ciofalo will be responsible for property management operations across the firm’s 22-million-square-foot New York portfolio. He has 22 years of experience in real estate. Prior to joining Grubb & Ellis, he worked as senior regional facilities manager for Goldman Sachs’ regional portfolio on behalf of CB Richard Ellis.

General Growth Properties hired Mike Donaghy as general manager of West Valley Mall in Tracy, Calif. Donaghy has 20 years of experience in retail property management. Previously, he worked at Stone Brothers & Associates and at Pacifica Retail Management/Kitchell Corp.

Voit Real Estate Services hired Robin Suo as assistant property manager in its Las Vegas office. Suo has eight years of experience in property management. Prior to joining Voit, she served as property manager with American Nevada Company LLC.