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‘Hot’ Santas in Abundance at Recent Shops at Las Americas Auction

The weekend that follows the post-Thanksgiving weekend frenzy is traditionally unfavorable for retailers as fatigued bargain hunters take a break.

One center’s solution: hold a “Hot Santa” auction, where dates with some of San Diego’s “hottest” men go to the highest bidders for the benefit of a local charity.

On Dec. 2, The Shops at Las Americas, a 125-tenant center in San Diego, was expected to team with Fashion Career College and radio station Star 94.1 FM to hold a student fashion show featuring models who would later become auction “items” in support of Becky’s House.

Becky’s House provides assistance to battered women and their children.

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Shops’ Marketing Director Aaron Adragna said it was no accident that the event was planned around the second weekend after Thanksgiving.

According to Adragna, marketing efforts have to be stronger earlier in the season while shoppers still have a choice about where to spend money as opposed to later in the season when last-minute convenience often dictates where people go.

“We’ve got stuff running in every single medium out there, whether direct mail or radio or whatever else you can think of , this is a crucial time,” Adragna said.

Opened since 2001, The Shops at Las Americas is coming off one of its most successful Black Fridays ever thanks to midnight openings, said Adragna.

Last year, about 20 of the center’s 125 tenants opened at midnight on the Friday after Thanksgiving.

This year, that number rose to 50 and led to multiple lines of early shoppers standing outside stores.

Adragna said Old Navy, Gap and Banana Republic outlets were particularly popular with early shoppers.

He also said that the Starbucks store “did several thousands of dollars” over their goal between midnight and 6 a.m.

“This year’s midnight opening was the largest that we’ve had,” Adragna said. “The retailers as a whole seemed to be very, very happy.”

The mall is owned by Philadelphia-based Stoltz Management Co. and is 560,000 square feet in size.

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Property News: San Diego-based Burnham Real Estate announced Nov. 20 that it has negotiated the sale of a 16-property retail portfolio to the tune of $412 million.

Barclay’s Realty and Management Co. sold the properties, located throughout California, Nevada, Oregon and Washington, to Weingarten Realty Investors of Houston and BlackRock Realty of New Jersey.

Barclay is based in Beverly Hills.

“The sale of this portfolio represents one of the largest retail transactions of its kind this year and reflects the strong demand by institutional investors for quality assets in established growth markets,” said Pete Bethea, senior vice president and principal with the Burnham Retail Advisors Group.

Meanwhile, the shopping center at Nobel and Villa La Jolla drives in La Jolla is now in the hands of CB Richard Ellis.

The Los Angeles-based broker said Nov. 17 that it has been hired to provide property management, project management and retail leasing services for the 415-square-foot La Jolla Village Square. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

“La Jolla Village Square is one of the region’s key retail assets,” said Joe Newman, the company’s managing director in San Diego. “We are proud to be affiliated with this project, and to maximize its value through our team of leasing and management professionals.”


Send retail news to Jessica Long at

jlong@sdbj.com

. She can also be reached at (858) 277-6359, ext. 3114.

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