Hot links: News from around the world

Publish Date: January 06, 2017

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Here's what local news sources from around the world are reporting about shopping centers and retail real estate:

U.S.
• Amazon.com plans to open its first New York City bookstore, at Related Co.’s Time Warner Center. The 4,000-square-foot store is slated to open in the spring at the Shops at Columbus Circle, on the edge of Central Park. SquareFootprint

• A shopping center made from former shipping containers is helping revitalize the Long Beach, Calif., neighborhood of Bixby Knolls. Long Beach Press-Telegram

• A group of investors led by Block & Co. purchased a defunct Kmart building in Kansas City, Mo., with 12 acres and plans to develop a mixed-use center on the site. The Kansas City Star

• Burlington Coat Factory will move into a former Sports Authority store at Regency Centers’ Lower Nazareth Commons, in Lower Nazareth Township, Pa., leaving the town with one empty Sports Authority left to fill. The Morning Call

• Charlotte, N.C.–based development firm Faison is splitting into several firms following the death of founder Henry Faison four years ago. The Charlotte Observer

EUROPE
• Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund GIC will spend £48.5 million (€57 million) to buy a 50 per cent stake in UK-based Hammerson's Watermark development in Southampton. Hammerson and GIC jointly own the adjacent Westquay shopping centre. Ayala Land's joint venture with the National Housing Authority, Vertis North, takes urban development in Quezon City to a new level with 200 brands and restaurants. The 29 hectare–project includes 200 retail brands and restaurants, 100,000 square metres of office space and a park. Financial Times

• Lars Huber has been named CEO of the European arm of international real estate asset manager Hines, after sharing the job with Michael Topham for the past year. “Lars has created significant value for Hines and our investors in his two-decade career with the firm and will continue to be an excellent leader for our European region as it grows," said Hines President and CEO Jeff Hines. "Geographic and product type diversity across Europe is an important link in our global strategy.” Shopping Centre

• US pension fund TIAA loaned €194.2 million to UK retail property specialist Capital & Regional. The company's chief executive Hugh Scott-Barrett said the refinancing provided the group with “the security of long-term funding, while also taking advantage of the historic low level of current interest rates." IPE Real Estate

• Landlord Multi Corporation has announced that Jaap Blokhuis will be stepping down as CEO of the business at the end of April to make way for the appointment of former Atrium CEO Josip Kardun. Property EU

• Escalating inflation, labour costs and taxes will put added pressure on retailers in Europe in 2017, according to JLL. “In particular, rising import costs as a result of post-referendum currency fluctuations may have to be passed on to the consumer, or retailer margins will be cut. Larger retailers will be better positioned to bear the impact, offsetting it by currency hedging and economies of scale," said Tim Vallance, head of UK retail and leisure at JLL. The Guardian

ASIA PACIFIC
• Swedish fashion retailer Cos opened its first store in Malaysia, at Pavilion Elite Mall, in Kuala Lumpur. The two-level store sells menswear and womenswear. "Opening our first store in Kuala Lumpur is an exciting stage in our expansion in Asia and we hope to continue to grow in the market in the future,” said Marie Honda, Cos’ managing director. Retail in Asia

• Ayala Land's joint venture with the National Housing Authority, Vertis North, takes urban development in Quezon City to a new level with 200 brands and restaurants. The 29 hectare–project includes 200 retail brands and restaurants, 100,000 square metres of office space and a park. Manila Bulletin

• Hong Kong retailers are finding it harder to attract big spenders from China. Average spending from such tourists declined by 15.8 per cent in the first half of 2016 compared to the same period in 2015. Tourist arrivals to Hong Kong from China in the first 10 months of last year were down by 8.2 per cent from the same period in 2015. Straits Times

• Upscale Italian kitchen manufacturer Scavolini wants to grow around the globe, and plans to open eight showroom stores in China to further its goals there. The firm recently opened a 460-square-metre store at Red Star Macalline Furniture mall, in Changzhou. Italy 24

• One of the biggest trends in Indian real estate is the redevelopment of struggling malls into open-air centres and offices. Called ORCs (Office Retail Complexes, these properties are popular with investors, retailers and employers, says Anshul Jain, managing director at Cushman & Wakefield, India. Chandigarh Tribune


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