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Stringing Ground Floors Together

City officials in Tempe have created a program to jointly market ground floor retail space at disparate condo projects going up around the city. Altogether, the retail space amounts to 2 million square feet--the size of a large regional mall. Officials are calling the program "Explore the Ground Floor."

The showcase is designed not only to tell retailers about the opportunities coming but also to make them aware of how the area's demographics will change with the arrival of downtown visitors staying in one of several planned boutique hotels and residents living in the upscale condos under construction.

Some of the retailers that are expected include a boutique grocery store, bakery and winemaker.

"We love the corporate, but we also value the really funky retailer, the mom-and-pops if you will," said Sheri Wakefield-Saenz, the city's economic development director

The Arizona Republic has

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