The REIT didn't expand much, ending its five-year, 50,000-sflease at 150 E. Gay and signing up for the 10-year lease atContinental Plaza. However, trust chairman and CEO Michael Glimchertells that the purpose wasn't to add space. "We're on afar more efficient floor plate now," he says. "Before, it justwasn't meeting our needs. We were on split up floors and had like10 different sizes offices in our space. Now, we're on contiguousfloors, 20-22, and have a lot more parity in how much space each ofour 140 employees gets. Plus, we have stairs in between our floors,so we put the reception area on 21, and we can just pop up anddown."


Glimcher wouldn't divulge how much the lease rate is at thebuilding. The average lease rate for the CBD is $21.99 per sf,according to a fourth quarter Grubb & Ellis market report. TheContinental Plaza building is 33 stories tall and about 568,000 sf,and is reportedly almost fully occupied.


He says that another benefit of the new office is wide openspaces. Most of the perimeter is open, without offices, and theinterior gets a lot more light. "The philosophy of our company isto be open and engaging, it really speaks to our new culture,"Glimcher says. For proof, he points to the company's new lifestylecenters at Polaris Fashion Place, Dayton Mall and ScottsdaleQuarter in Scottsdale, AZ. "We're going more for the open-airenvironment on our malls as well."


Though he says the company ended the year on a high note, withcenter inline space at 94% occupied and anchors at 98% occupied,Glimcher says it's clear that retailers are slowing down. "We'recautiously optimistic about this year, as long as we open about 70%to 90% of what we did last year, we'll be okay," he says. "It's aturbulent environment, and there's a lot of overexpansion, thoughpeople are now rationalizing their businesses and beingconservative with capital. Sometimes a little adjustment is not abad thing."

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