Retail Traffic

SOUTHWEST INTELLIGENCE

The City of Austin is contemplating the fate of a prime 76,176-square-foot parcel of real estate downtown. Block 21, as it's known, is located near the proposed 225,000-square-foot Second Street Retail District. The city paid $4 million to buy the land back from developer CSC, which canceled office plans for the site. The city wants to see retail space on at least the first floor on all development proposals…Shopping centers in Phoenix, Gilbert and Queen Creek, Ariz., may have to re-stripe their parking lots soon. Consumers are lobbying government officials to mandate larger parking spaces for their SUVs. The three cities' spaces are 8 1/2 feet by 18 feet or smaller… Orange, Calif.-based Southwest Retailers Inc., purveyor of 23 Fashion$ 5 stores and RealSize stores, plans to open 50 new Texas stores over two to four years. The chain will open eight Fashion$ 5s in San Antonio alone, with two going into Hill-Granados Partners' Dellview Marketplace and San Pedro Town Center projects. Fashion$ 5s, which range in size from 3,500 square feet to 9,000 square feet, sell apparel items priced at $5.99 and below. Dallas-based The Weitzman Group is representing Southwest Retail in its search for sites…Pizza Patron has announced plans to expand into Arizona with 25 new stores in the next two years. The 51-unit chain, based in Texas, caters to Hispanic consumers…The Rouse Co. expects to buy back the empty anchor spot at its Fashion Show mall in Las Vegas (right) from Lord & Taylor and convert it into 80,000 square feet of small-shop space. By 2005, the developer also hopes to bring in a big-box anchor such as Crate & Barrel…Traffic was lighter than expected for the opening weekend of Kohl's new North Phoenix store in mid-October. The reason: the store's exterior signs were never changed from “Coming Soon” to “Now Open”… First-quarter 2004 will see the groundbreaking of Stadium Village, a 68-acre mixed-use project planned for Surprise, Ariz., located northwest of Phoenix. The project, shown below, is named for the Surprise Recreation Campus Spring Training facility, which will host spring training for the Kansas City Royals and Texas Rangers baseball teams…Houston developer Bryan Dunson will spend $7.5 million to develop a “floating water world” strip center in suburban Oak Ridge North. An elaborate water feature including dancing fountains and pools will anchor the 40,000-square-foot development. Tenants will include “water-themed” venues such as Cajun restaurant Sam's Boat, tanning salons, travel agencies and gift boutiques…San Antonio architect Larry Raba's RTK Development Group is redeveloping 325,000 square feet in the city's downtown to build a $60 million mixed-use project. Piazza San Lorenzo will include entry points to San Antonio's famed Riverwalk, plus 50,000 square feet of retail, 33 condominiums and a private residence club — a collection of 66 condos in which residents will take out ownership of units in periods ranging from four weeks to 12 weeks.

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