Shopping Centers Today International

DEC 2015

Shopping Centers Today is the news magazine of the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC)

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Hybrid-electric buildings to save energy in Irvine portfolio The Irvine Co. says it plans to convert its properties into hybrid- electric buildings that use on-site battery systems to store energy. The Newport Beach, Calif.– based firm, which owns 41 shopping centers plus office and multifamily properties, claims the new systems will reduce peak hour energy consumption from local utilities, ease the need for additional power plants, cut electricity costs and provide backup power during outages. Each building will get a Tesla Energy battery system that will take up the equivalent of about five parking spaces. The battery systems will be charged during nonpeak hours for peak daytime use or in the event of a power failure. Initiatives such as this are part of Southern California Edison's grid- modernization plan. Irvine Co. is working with San Francisco–based Advanced Microgrid Solutions and will launch the project by converting 24 of its office buildings in Irvine, Calif. Those conversions are expected to reduce peak demand by 25 percent and provide Southern California Edison with up to 10 megawatts of reserve capacity, enough to power 10,000 homes. The firm is expected to install the first units in Irvine by the end of this year. "As a long-term owner, the Irvine Company takes great pride in being on the cutting edge of building design, sustainability and energy efficiency," said Rich Bluth, the firm's vice president of energy management, in a press release. "Energy storage is a game changer — it will allow building owners to participate in grid support and reduce costs while causing no disruption or discomfort to our customers, residents or guests." For the initial part of the Irvine Co. project, Advanced Microgrid will team up with renewable- energy giant SunEdison to finance, install and operate commercial battery systems. "As mobile payment systems evolve, physical retail space will continue to adapt," Schmidt said. "Technology provides new opportunities to improve the overall in-store and checkout experience for retailers and consumers alike." Commercial real estate professionals should pay at- tention to how these tools and trends develop and continue to think about how they will revolutionize the consumer experience, Schmidt added. Britain's iconic red phone boxes are becoming pop-up shops, thanks to a new firm that leases out unused units to retail entre- preneurs looking for prime sidewalk space to sell their wares. The Red Kiosk Co. launched in London a year ago. The firm currently has about 15 units leased around the country: four in the capital, and eight more in smaller cities ranging from Plymouth to Preston. Coffee shops are popular users, as exemplified by Jack Hollier (right) who operates a coffee stand at Eden Place, in Birmingham. Phone boxes ring up retail 12 S C T / D E C E M B E R 2 0 1 5 T H E C O M M O N A R E A Microsoft opened its largest store to date in October, a 22,400-square-foot flagship on New York City's swanky Fifth Avenue, just a few blocks from Apple's iconic glass cube. The very first Microsoft store opened in 2009, and the company now operates about 100. This latest, five-floor flagship was in the making for about six years. Today Microsoft serves about 1 billion customers, and something like 80 per- cent of Americans live within 20 miles of some Microsoft store. MICROSOFT FOLLOWS APPLE'S LEAD

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