Lebovitz Says Macy's Not On Horizon At Hamilton Place

But CBL Continues To Update Its Properties

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

A Macy's is not on the horizon at Hamilton Place Mall for the near future, but CBL & Associates is continuing to update the mall and its holdings that now are scattered in 27 states, Alan Lebovitz told the Hixson Chamber of Commerce on Wednesday.

"We are not going to get a Macy's any time soon," said Mr. Lebovitz, whose grandfather started the Chattanooga-based firm that has grown to a $10 billion conglomerate.

He noted that Hamilton Place once had six anchor department stores and is down to four.

Mr. Lebovitz said the closing of the theatre inside the mall will be followed by the move of Barnes and Noble Booksellers in that spot as well as a new restaurant.

He said CBL is continuing to look for ways to update its properties, noting that the firm took an old drug store space in the Hamilton Place area and replaced it with Coldwater Creek and other popular new stores.

Katie Reinsmidt, who was recently promoted to director of corporate communications and investor relations for CBL, told the club that the firm is now involved in overseas ventures.

She said one in Brazil is well placed since there recently was a huge discovery of off-shore oil nearby.

Another is in China, she said.

Ms. Reinsmidt said Hamilton Place may be getting a facelift. She said CBL likes to update its properties every 8-10 years.

CBL now has 162 properties, including 84 shopping centers.

Mr. Lebovitz said the family got into the shopping center business by accident. He said his grandfather was in the movie business, and sold his theatres - except for a drive-in at Brainerd that had a damaged screen.

He said his grandfather wound up developing Eastgate Mall at that site.

Mr. Lebovitz, who works in the expansion portion of the business, said the firm is continuing to "look for new deals and to grow."

He said as shopping centers change, CBL is adapting. One new property, he said, will include a hotel, 80,000 square feet of office space, 200 apartments/condos, and 700,000 square feet of retail.

"It's very exciting to try something different," he said.

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