Retail Traffic

Development Digest

Fashion Valley Progress Is Anything But Shaky Adding a level to an enclosed mall is not an easy job, and it becomes increasingly difficult when the mall sits on potentially unsteady ground. Through a second story "build over," Fashion Valley in San Diego is in the midst of adding 270,000 sq. ft. of GLA and renovating existing areas. The project is scheduled for completion in October.

Managed by The Yarmouth Group, New York, the mall remains open for business while construction takes place, with scheduling adjustments made to address issues relevant to safety and ambiance for the customers and tenants. The "build over" technique was designed to allow each level to move independently during an earthquake. This required extensive engineering to develop vertical supports that provided structural integrity while tying in with the overall design of the center.

This October, Fashion Valley is scheduledto open space for 80 new tenants.

The superregional center's design "is based on Mission style architecture, which imitates the buildings constructed by the Franciscan Friars as they colonized California," describes Carol Sullivan, the center's marketing director. "The Missions were built with materials that were readily available, such as wood, hay, adobe bricks and mortar. They depended on landscaping and trellises for the majority of their exterior ornamentation. Likewise, Fashion Valley makes extensive use of trellises and lush landscaping."

The Grand Staircase on either side of Motor Court, the main northern entry, and the Portal Trellis situated at Town Square further the Mission design. Uneven textures reminiscent of mortar are used in the center's new facades.

The expansion area allows for 80 new tenants to join Fashion Valley, which is anchored by Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue, Nordstrom, Macy's, Robinsons*May, and JCPenney. Among the newcomers are J.Crew, Brooks Brothers, KPBS Store of Knowledge, Kenneth Cole, M.A.C., Restoration Hardware, B.C.B.G., Abercrombie & Fitch, GapKids and Bally of Switzerland.

Outdoor cafes and an 18-screen AMC Theaters complex also will be a part of the new Fashion Valley. According to Sullivan, demographic studies project a continued increase in consumers' demand for entertainment. "Nationally, the average household is expected to spend more than $1,700 annually on entertainment," she explains. "This increase is driven by middle-aged Baby Boomers and their children, and we have addressed it with the addition of an 18-plex cinema complex."

Anchor Nordstrom will begin this summer a 70,000 sq. ft. expansion to its already 150,000 sq. ft. Fashion Valley store. To facilitate the expansion, an existing parking structure was razed. Construction is expected to be complete in August 1998 with the interior renovation complete by 1999.

Leasing Contact: Fashion Valley, 452 Fashion Valley, San Diego, Calif. 92108; (619) 297-3381.

Theme Park Offers New 'Retail Ride' Tucked among the roller coasters, sky buckets and various themed rides that visitors can choose from at the Six Flags Great Adventure Theme Park and Safari in Jackson Township, N.J., is one of the park's newest additions -- a bus. It offers no special effects, does not spin circles, go backwards or hang upside down, but it does offer the park's guests a special experience -- free shuttle service to the new Six Flags Factory Outlets.

Developed and solely owned by New York-based New Plan Realty Trust, the $20 million, Victorian-themed center is located less than one mile from the theme park and opened in late April.

Fifty stores in 195,000 sq. ft. of retail space comprise the center's first phase, with tenants such as Reebok Factory Direct; KB Toy Outlet; Big Dog Sportswear; Black & Decker; Haggar Clothing Co.; and Westpoint Stevens Bed, Bath and Linen. A food court and a 1,700-car parking lot round out New Jersey's newest outlet center.

A planned second phase is planned will bring in an additional 30 to 35 more stores and add 100,000 sq. ft. of retail space for a total of 80 to 85 stores in 295,000 sq. ft. of space. No date has been released for the completion of phase II.

More than 5 million people live within 40 miles of the new center, according to Arnold Laubich, New Plan Realty president. Within the 100-mile radius, from New York to Philadelphia, a consumer market of 26 million exists.

Under a joint marketing agreement between the outlet center and Six Flags Theme Parks, New Plan Realty Trust and Six Flags owners will co-promote both properties to potential visitors. For example, the outlet center is advertised in a 24-panel park map and guide that is available to all Six Flag Theme Park visitors.

"Shopping patterns are still being determined," Laubich says, adding that a wait-and-see approach has been adopted in determining the success of the venture. "A rainy day at the park may draw large numbers of shoppers to the center."

While New Plan Realty has not ruled out other such outlet centers, there are currently no Six Flags theme park/outlet center marketing agreements planned.

New Plan Realty, publicly owned since 1962 and a REIT since 1972, owns and operates retail and residential properties largely in the eastern half of the United States.

Leasing Contact: Steve Yalof, New Plan Realty Trust, 1120 Avenue of the Americas, New York, N.Y. 10036-6757; (212) 869-3000.

Repositioning Nears End At Foothills In its battle to reposition itself, Foothills Mall in Tucson, Ariz., is gaining ground. Originally opened in 1982, the 500,000 sq. ft. mall was a full-price, high-end fashion mall that suffered from poor management, strong competition and a sparsely populated trade area. The remerchandising plan for Foothills Mall incorporates outlet stores, off-price stores, themed dining and entertainment.

Located on the resort corridor in northwest Tucson, the mall is "now positioned to capture the 7 million tourists who visit Arizona's capital every year, as well as the rapidly growing metropolitan population of 750,000," says Don Bourn, president of Bourn Properties of Tucson, which handles the management and leasing of the property. "Northwest Tucson has experienced a growth rate in the past few years of more than 17 percent; 48 percent of all new housing is located in the northwest quadrant of the city."

Openings this past fall by Off 5th-Saks Fifth Avenue Outlet and Barnes & Noble Booksellers have helped generate new leases. Donna Karan Company Store, Carter's for Kids, Colours & Scents, Samsonite, Banister Shoe Studio, Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory and Vitamin World all opened during the first quarter of 1997. An eight-screen expansion to the Cineplex Odeon Theaters -- bringing the total screen count to 15 -- is scheduled for completion by the end of the summer.

Bourn anticipates reaching full occupancy by late 1997. Expansion plans, to affect outparcel areas and acreage adjacent to the mall, will be announced at that time.

Leasing Contact: Chad Blunt, Bourn Properties, 7401 North La Cholla Blvd., Tucson, Ariz. 87541; (520) 742-7191.

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