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Developer Rick Caruso goes after airport retail business

March 8, 2010 |  1:23 pm

Prominent Los Angeles retail developer Rick Caruso, who built the Grove, the Americana at Brand and other large shopping centers, plans to develop stores and restaurants in airports, he said Monday.

"Airports and cities across the country realize that they can't simply take the customer for granted any longer and need to create a more inviting shopping and dining experience for the traveler," Caruso said. "With travelers spending more time in terminals, airport authorities realize the financial value of offering something special, because people are willing to spend more if you provide style, quality and service."

Caruso's company, Caruso Affiliated, appointed John Cugasi as its first vice president for airports. Cugasi was most recently director of concessions at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, where he oversaw development and leasing of the airport's retail spaces.

Caruso Affiliated will immediately begin looking for business opportunities in the nation's airports, Caruso said, starting in Los Angeles.

-- Roger Vincent