Shopping Relief

Christmas is no time to lounge around — or is it? American Express, aware of just how grueling the hunt for gifts can be, has expanded its "Members Lounge" concept to two upscale shopping centers: The Mall at Short Hills in New Jersey and the Natick Collection in Massachusetts.

The lounges opened Nov. 16 and, if all goes well, lounges in other malls will be considered for next year's holiday season. In 2006, only the Mall at Short Hills offered the amenity.

The space offers refreshments, coat check, a restroom, seating areas, iPod and cell phone charging stations and an e-mail station, all complimentary to American Express Cardmembers. There are also free gift-wrap services, gift cards are available and members can redeem their points for merchandise on the spot, including cameras, Xbox 360 video game systems and iPhones.

Green Team


Mackenzie Keck, a general contracting, construction management and consulting firm for retailers and other sectors, acquired the green building consulting firm Global Thinking LLC. Global Thinking will be led by green building consultant and architect Frank Sherman, who was named vice president of Mackenzie Keck. He has more than 20 years experience and has worked on projects such as the new 7 World Trade Center, Sprint World Headquarters, Merrill Lynch Corporate Center and the Montclair State University Academic Building and Student Recreation Center. "The value of high-performance green buildings is greater than its environmental and economic benefit," Sherman said. "It represents the new benchmark for quality design and construction."

Global Thinking will offer consulting and construction services to Mackenzie Keck and focus on the latest green building technology, energy-efficient design, materials and finishes that create healthy indoor air and assessing existing buildings for adaptations and reuse.

"With the addition of Global Thinking, green building is clearly becoming a major focus of what we do each day," Mackenzie Keck founder and chief executive officer Dan Keck said. "It's our responsibility to make good choices available to our clients."

Vikram K. Reddi, president of Mackenzie Keck, added: "Green is clearly fashionable, but there's much more to this trend. Developers and other business people are realizing that green is critical from a bottom-line perspective."

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