May 29, 2014 | ISSUE 340
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RECon Recap: The Top Five Ways Shopping Centers are Changing

The Westfield Group has embraced pop-up shops, which not only add a refreshingly new mix of merchandise to a center, but also temporarily absorb vacancies. Westfield San Francisco Centre introduced three digital pop-up shops this past November, including Sony, TOMS and Rebecca Minkoff.


LAS VEGAS -- Competition among retailers may be fiercer today than ever before when it comes attracting a consumer's dollars. Although the recession might be solidly behind us, the average shopper has access to a plethora of online and bricks-and-mortar retailers, as RECon panelists and attendees pointed out during this year's show, which took place May 18-20 at the Las Vegas Convention Center. 


Many popular retailers are once again in growth mode. Shopping center owners are vying for their attention -- and for good reason. More outposts means the consumer has more conveniently located shopping centers with comparable tenants from which to choose. It may also mean your center is out of luck if you fail to recruit the top talent in retail.


The top talent in retail, meanwhile, is looking to wine and dine its prospective shoppers -- both figuratively and literally. This strategy often begins before a tenant has even committed to a space, leaving the responsibility for a fun, friendly and entertaining atmosphere to fall directly on the shoulders of the center's operator.


Below are five key strategies outlined by RECon panelists and attendees that detail how a center can remain competitive for both key tenants and shoppers. These strategies also highlight just how many changes the average American shopping center is likely to face as leases expire, new concepts roll out and the fickle consumer becomes no less predictable.


1. Technology is Here to Stay -- While most retailers have made major strides when it comes to streamlining the online browsing and buying portions of their companies, shopping centers have fallen behind. Many luxury lifestyle centers and shopping malls are embracing social media, but that investment should be apparent not only online, but also at the actual property as well, according to panelists.


"The Internet is now a part of our business," said Edward Coury, vice president and director of leasing for Starwood Retail Partners in Chicago, and a participant in the "Acquiring and Then Revitalizing a Challenged Center" panel.


Click here to read more of Nellie Day's story.

NorthMarq Arranges $22M Loan for Apartment Complex in Minneapolis

Solhavn Apartments is located at 815 N. Second St.


MINNEAPOLIS -- NorthMarq Capital has arranged a $22 million loan for financing of Solhavn Apartments, a 137-unit multifamily property in Minneapolis. The property is located at 815 N. Second St. 


Dan Trebil of NorthMarq Capital structured the loan on a 14-year term. The loan includes a two-year interest only period and a 30-year amortization schedule. NorthMarq arranged financing for the borrower through its relationship with a life insurance company lender.

NAI FMA Realty Arranges 48,651 SF Office Lease in Lincoln, Neb.

Wells Fargo Center, an 11-story, 287,000-square-foot office building and Commerce Court, a 58,500-square-foot office building attached to the Wells Fargo Center, are located at 1230 and 1248 'O' Street.


LINCOLN, NEB. -- NAI FMA Realty has arranged a 48,651-square-foot office lease for Nelnet Inc. in the Commerce Court and Wells Fargo Center in downtown Lincoln. 


The properties are located at 1230 and 1248 'O' Street. Wells Fargo Center is an 11-story, 287,000-square-foot Class A office building. Commerce Court is a 58,500-square-foot, Class B office building attached to the Wells Fargo Center. 


Richard Meginnis and Tom Graf of NAI FMA Realty represented the owner, Ameritas Life Insurance Corp. Lincoln-based Nelnet is an education services company focused primarily on providing fee-based processing services and education-related products and services. 


The lease expands Nelnet's local operations and provides the company with space for continued growth.

First Market Properties Buys First-Lien Mortgage on Playhouse Square

Playhouse Square is located at 1220 Huron Road N.E.


CLEVELAND -- First Market Properties LLC has purchased the first-lien mortgage on a Class B, mixed-use complex in Cleveland. The property, Playhouse Square, is located at 1220 Huron Road N.E. 


The building includes 100,800 net rentable square feet and is currently 30 percent occupied. The loan was originated in 2011 and matured in June 2013 with an unpaid balance of approximately $1.7 million. 


Miami-based First Market Properties is a fully integrated real estate investment firm that originates first-lien debt, purchases loans and REOs nationwide.

Colliers Arranges Lease of 67,504 SF Office/Warehouse in Auburn Hills, Mich.

Scott Industries Inc., an automation company, will occupy space at 1026 Doris Road.


AUBURN HILLS, MICH. -- Colliers International has arranged the lease of 67,504 square feet of office/warehouse space in Auburn Hills. Scott Industries Inc., an automation company, will occupy space at 1026 Doris Road. Peter E. Kepic, Peter J. Kepic and Ryan Brittain of Colliers International represented the tenant in the transaction. Doris Road Holdings LLC is the landlord.

KeyBank Provides $4.8M CMBS Loan 

for Illinois Research Facility

Silgan Downers Grove is a single-tenant, 42,000-square-foot facility. The tenant has occupied the property since 1980.


DOWNERS GROVE, ILL. -- KeyBank Real Estate Capital has provided a $4.8 million CMBS refinancing loan for a research facility in Downers Grove, a western suburb of Chicago. 


John Hofmann of KeyBank worked with the borrower, HSA Commercial Real Estate, to arrange the non-recourse, fixed-rate loan. Silgan Downers Grove is a single-tenant, 42,000-square-foot facility. The tenant has occupied the property since 1980. 

Opus Begins Construction on Spec Industrial Building in Groveport, Ohio

The industrial warehouse building at 6201 Green Pointe Drive South will feature a 32-foot clear height and 2,500 square feet of office space.


GROVEPORT, OHIO -- The Opus Group is developing a 484,216-square-foot speculative industrial warehouse building in the Opus Business Center at Rickenbacker in Groveport near Columbus. 


The property is located at 6201 Green Pointe Drive South. Construction has begun on Building 8 and is slated for completion in November. The industrial warehouse building will feature a 32-foot clear height and 2,500 square feet of office space, which will be constructed with the shell allowing for quick tenant occupancy. 


The building will also accommodate parking for 200 cars and 50 trucks with room for additional parking. Building 8 at the Opus Business Center at Rickenbacker will be owned by a joint venture partnership between Opus Development Co. LLC and Founders Properties LLC. 


Opus Development will be the developer, Opus Design Build will be the design-builder and Opus AE Group will be the architect and engineer for the project. Opus has developed seven industrial buildings at Opus Business Center at Rickenbacker totaling 3.6 million square feet.

Upcoming Events

CREW Network 
Spring 2014 Leadership Summit
When: June 12-13, 2014
Where: Hyatt Regency Cincinnati, Cincinnati, Ohio
4th Annual InterFace Healthcare Real Estate Carolinas Conference
When: June 11, 2014
Where: Hilton Charlotte Center City
5th Annual InterFace Carolinas Conference
When: June 11, 2014
Where: Hilton Charlotte Center City

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Danielle Everson, Associate Editor
Heartland Real Estate Business
France Media, Inc.

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