25 March 1998
OVITZ SPOTTED IN MALLPosted on american_express.Europeans may find this mystifying though Americans will see evidence of the dreded "culture and edutainment industry" creeping into the virginal midwest, bastion of no-nonsense pragmatism but chock-full of shoppers. I don't know if there is a relationship (I assume there is) but Arnie Glimcher is the head of Pace Gallery in New York and LA and a friend of Ovitz. Also, though I understand he's a slimeball, Ovtiz personally selected and bought one of my best paintings a few years ago for the CAA collection in Beverly Hills (nobody in New York would buy it) so of course I tend to think he's brilliant. I'm still working through these contradictions in my life.
This report comes via the Drudge Report. I will go take a shower now.
From: Yahoo Daily News
Wednesday March 25 8:41 AM EST
Ovitz Resurfaces In Midwestern Mall
By Richard Morgan
NEW YORK (Variety) - Like Elvis, Michael Ovitz -- once dubbed the most powerful man in Hollywood until his fall from grace in 1996 -- is now popping up in shopping malls.
Or more exactly, he has resurfaced as a partner in The Mall At Polaris in Columbus, Ohio, a 1.5-million-square-foot project set to open in 2000. Mall developer Glimcher Realty Trust, also based in Columbus, announced the deal Tuesday. Already signed as initial anchor tenants for the 150-store mall are Lord & Taylor, Kauffman's and Sony-Loews 22.
Ovitz, who co-founded Creative Artists Agency and served a short stint as president of Walt Disney Co., will oversee the mall's sports and entertainment complex. Ovitz is known to have been friendly with the Glimcher family for years.
He was unavailable for comment, having kept a low profile since 1996 when Disney controversially paid him nearly $100 million in cash and stock options to leave the company after a year on the job.
"It really isn't surprising that a mall developer would team up with someone in the entertainment business," said Gary Boston, a real estate analyst at PaineWebber. "It's another attempt to get people in the mall and keep them in the mall."
Boston also cited the increasing retail interests of such entertainment providers as Disney, Warner Bros. and even ESPN. Ovitz's name has also been associated recently with one of several efforts to lure an NFL franchise to Los Angeles. A story in the Los Angeles Times linked Ovitz with a proposal to build a stadium and mall at the junction of the San Diego and Harbor Freeways in the southern Los Angeles suburb of Carson.
Glimcher, which went public in 1994, owns, manages or leases 119 properties in 24 states.