Shopping mall operator General Growth Properties (GGP) and Italian restaurant chain Buca di Beppo plan to open 10 Buca di Beppo restaurants at properties within the GGP mall portfolio this summer. 

The multi-restaurant deal marks a significant expansion of the Buca di Beppo restaurant group, currently 90 units strong. New locations include properties in Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Ohio, Louisiana, Maryland, Texas, Utah and Wisconsin and will range in size from 4,500 square feet to 7,000 square feet. The expansion initiative is the first of multiple deals in development with Buca di Beppo and GGP properties throughout North America.

"These malls are situated in markets where customers desire expanded sit-down restaurant options," said Alan Barocas, senior executive vice president of leasing for GGP. "Each opening will complement the dining selection, further solidify the mall's standing as a popular dining destination and add much-needed jobs to the market."

Robert Earl, chairman of Buca di Beppo, added, "In partnership with General Growth Properties we will strategically enlarge our restaurant group with multiple new domestic restaurants with a rapid expansion into retail environments that offer high traffic counts, appealing demographics, and accessibility to consumers who appreciate great quality at a great value."