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Goiânia, BrazilVOA Associates Inc.'s Florida division is currently working with Goiânia, Brazil developer EMSA to complete Praça do Século XXI, or Plaza for the 21st Century, in Goiânia, State of Goiás, Brazil. As programmer, master planner and architectural designer, VOA's objective was “to create a focal point in a transitional multi-use site; to create a civic icon and meeting place,” says Hernando Gomez, VOA's vp and director of project development in Latin America.

The project is divided into three parts including the civic conference center, an entertainment component facing the Vaca Brava park and retail along the northern street. The retail components will consist of an all-Brazilian tenant lineup including a bookstore, an art cinema, an art gallery, two restaurants, retail booths, a multimedia store and a children's arcade.

The completion date has not been solidified since permitting for the project is currently taking place. At completion, the center will be 111,000 sq. ft. including parking.

Center openings

Atlanta — Locally based The Sembler Co. will celebrate the grand opening of its Publix at Piedmont Center next month. The 55,000-sq.-ft. center is part of a mixed-use project also featuring 320 luxury condiminiums being developed by locally based Lincoln Property Co.

The center, to be anchored by Publix and Walgreens with an additional 10,000 sq. ft. of specialty retailers and service tenants, replaces the 120,000-sq.-ft. Rio Shopping Center built on the site in 1980s.

Phoenix — The Shops at Gainey Village, a development of locally based Westcor Partners, is open for business. The 140,000-sq.-ft. lifestyle center was designed by locally based DFD Architecture and built by contractors The Renaissance Cos. The Shops at Gainey Village features 42 specialty shops, restaurants and service tenants.

Kihei, Hawaii — Piilani Village Shopping Center in South Maui recently celebrated its grand opening. Anchored by a 55,000-sq.-ft. Safeway and a 20,000-sq.-ft. Hilo Hattie, the 150,000-sq.-ft. center also features 21 specialty tenants including ABC Stores, Blockbuster Video, Starbucks, Supercuts, Jamba Juice and Supercuts.

Piilani Village was developed by locally based The Freeman Group for owners HBS Limited Partnership. Property management for the center is handled by Chaney, Brooks & Co.

Major tenant happenings

Billings, Mont. — Musical department stores is the name of the game at the 610,000-sq.-ft. Rimrock Mall. This year, existing anchor Dillard's purchased the mall's 100,000-sq.-ft. former Montgomery Ward space and launched a full-scale interior renovation, moving its operations to take advantage of a higher-traffic location. In turn, existing anchor JCPenney assumed the lease on the vacated Dillard's space and has launched a remodeling project of its own.

Once JCPenney relocates, its former 62,000-sq.-ft. space will be turned over to Dillard's, which will transform it into a men's and home furnishings store expected to open by late fall 2001. Rimrock Mall, developed by Santa Monica, Calif.-based The Macerich Co., is also anchored by Herberger's and Scheels All Sports.

“Our guests will enjoy shopping in three beautifully remodeled department stores that will set a new, higher standard for retail in the state,” says general manager Kendall Merrick. “Both Dillard's and JCPenney will introduce new merchandise lines, offering guests a broader selection and greater service.” The changes are due for completion by fourth quarter 2001.

Mobile, Ala. — Chattanooga, Tenn.-based CBL & Associates Properties Inc. has announced plans to add a 46,930-sq.-ft. Best Buy to its 41-year-old Springdale mall. The 984,417-sq.-ft. development, undergoing an extensive renovation scheduled for completion in fall 2001, has also recently attracted a 33,000-sq.-ft. Goody's, a 24,000-sq.-ft. Staples and a 36,000-sq.-ft. Linens ‘N Things. Springdale's existing anchors include Dillard's, McRae's and Burlington Coat Factory.

San Marcos, Texas — Tanger Outlet Center San Marcos is in the midst of a 235,000-sq.-ft. expansion that will double its current size by spring 2001. New retailers attracted by the center's growth include Eddie Bauer, Timberland, Buster Brown Kidswear, Laundery, Pacific Sunwear, Koret, Tommy Hilfiger, Nautica Jean Co., Westpoint Stevens, Dress Barn, Black and Decker, Hushpuppies, The Children's Place and a Cracker Barrel restaurant. The center is owned and operated by Greensboro, N.C.-based Tanger Factory Outlet Centers.

Los Angeles — Nordstrom and FAO Schwarz have joined the lineup at The Grove at Farmer's Market, a 640,000-sq.-ft., open air center planned for the city's Fairfax district. The 122,000-sq.-ft. Nordstrom, to be built by Seattle-based general contractor Bayley Construction, is set to open in March 2002. The 25,000-sq.-ft. FAO Schwarz, to be built by Baltimore-based The Whiting-Turner Contracting Co., will open in spring 2002. The Grove at Farmer's Market, whose tenant list includes Banana Republic, Barnes & Noble, J. Crew and a 14-screen Pacific Theaters complex, is a development of locally based Caruso Affiliated Holdings.

Westlake, Ohio — Dave & Busters has signed on as the anchor at mixed-use development Columbia Commons. The retailer will occupy a 57,000-sq.-ft. space in the 130,000-sq.-ft. center. Scheduled for a January 2002 grand opening, Columbia Commons is a development of Pepper Pike, Ohio-based Visconsi Cos. Ltd.


Denver — Once the fifth busiest airport in the world, Stapleton International closed in 1995 with the opening of the more modern Denver International Airport. Now, thanks to Cleveland, Ohio-based Forest City Enterprises, the 7.5-sq.-mile site is the subject of an ambitious, $123.4-million urban redevelopment project.

The project will feature enough room for 30,000 residents, including 8,000 for-sale homes in the $100,000 to $600,000 range, and 4,000 rental apartments. Ten million sq. ft. of office space will provide these residents with a place to work. And don't forget retail.

The Stapleton development will feature 3 million sq. ft. of GLA, including a 750,000-sq.-ft. regional center called Quebec Square. Wal-Mart, Sam's Club and Home Depot have already signed on for the project, which will be completed in phases beginning later this year. Forest City has estimated the project will represent $4 billion in new value created at the former airport.

Tucson, Ariz. — Chicago-based General Growth Properties' 27-year-old Park Place mall is undergoing a redevelopment and renovation to be completed this August. The strategy is to create a single center incorporating four distinct shopping zones.

Park Place's new plan includes: traditional mall shops situated along mall avenues that cluster retailers into a family wing, a fashion wing and a teen wing; streetscape retailers including Old Navy, Z Gallerie, Talbots and Borders; a food court and 20-screen Century Theater; and an enclosed courtyard area offering fine dining options.

City of Industry, Calif. — The final phase of the four-year redevelopment of an area landmark is underway and slated for completion by spring of 2002.

Puente Hills Mall, a 1.2 million sq. ft. regional shopping and entertainment center owned and managed by the Krausz Companies Inc., will benefit new tenants and a makeover.

In addition to opening nine new stores in the first quarter of 2001, the center is adding new tenants to the mix. Included in the selection are LensCrafters, Magic Step Shoes, expo Furniture and Fred Meyer Jewelers.

The Robinsons-May department store, after a complete remodel will provide a high-end appeal to complement the Borders Books and Music, a 20-screen AMC Theatre and a 30,000 sq.ft. Spectrum Health Club.

SIDEBAR: Easton expansion heats up Columbus

Traffic counts during the past year at Easton Town Center Phase I registered more than 1 million visitors, and sales figures in excess of $475 per sq. ft. have been reported by in-line tenants. With numbers such as these, the project's development team is proceeding full steam ahead with plans for Phase II.

Phase II will complete the 1.5 million-sq.-ft. town center development at Easton. The town center has been masterplanned to complement and interface with the office buildings, hotels, residences, recreational facilities and other retail projects that comprise the development.

“We did not set out to develop just another enclosed mall,” says Marshall Rose, chairman of locally based The Georgetown Cos., Easton's master developer. “Because of the scale of the total development, we had the opportunity to create a retail environment that feeds off of and simultaneously supports the multiplicity of uses that has been developed around the town center.”

The tenancy at Phase II will build on the success of Phase I by bringing additional merchants that could not be found in Columbus before, says Yaromir Steiner of locally based Steiner + Associates, The Georgetown Cos.' development partner in the project. “Easton's first phase focused on leisure and entertainment. Now that it's firmly established, we're moving along to the next phase, which will offer a different merchandise mix. Phase II will focus on fashion and specialty retailers.”

A 170,000-sq.-ft. Nordstrom and a 240,000-sq.-ft., prototype Lazarus will anchor Phase II, which totals 750,000 sq. ft. “Columbus residents won't have to go to bigger cities for upscale shopping anymore,” Steiner says.

Scheduled to open this August, Phase II will mirror its sister development's small Midwestern town-style architecture, says John Clark of Baltimore-based Development Design Group Architecture Inc.

“The reception for the street retail in Phase I was so powerful that we wanted all of Phase II's retailers to face the street,” he says. “To gain more street frontage, we have created a retail island consisting of a one-level, four-block-long building with some two-level facades to enclose the main level.”

Easton will also feature a valet parking system allowing customers to drop off their car at one end of the town center, then walk, shop and eat throughout. Afterwards, they can pick up their car at the other end of the center, all with a computer controlled system for drop-off and retrieval.

SIDEBAR: Irvine Co. takes on Orange County

Newport Beach, Calif.-based The Irvine Co. will soon have more than 750,000 sq. ft. under construction, most of it in Orange County, where strong job and residential growth are creating demand for increasing amounts of retail and dining options. The developer is building and expanding existing centers in a variety of product types, including neighborhood and community centers, lifestyle centers and regional centers. Included in their plans for the coming year are:

  • Irvine Spectrum, Irvine, Calif. This entertainment behemoth will grow by leaps and bounds in the coming year. The project's 500,000-sq.-ft. retail, dining and entertainment center will expand by 177,000 sq. ft. as part of its third phase of development. The project's 260,000-sq.-ft. community center, Irvine Spectrum Pavilion, moves into Phase III of its development with a 180,000-sq.-ft. expansion that brings new tenants Costco, Office Max, Treasures Furniture and Sears' new concept, The Great Indoors. Also, The Commons at Irvine Spectrum, a 116,500-sq.-ft. freeway retail and service center is slated to open by November 2002.

  • Fashion Island, Newport Beach, Calif. The center, currently anchored by Bloomingdale's, Neiman Marcus, Robinsons-May and Macy's, will expand by 35,000 sq. ft., bringing in a string of new tenants.

  • Crystal Cove Promenade, Newport Coast, Calif. This new, 125,000- sq.-ft. community center will bring upscale retail, food and service shops to serve the growing population on the Newport Coast.

  • Newport Ridge, Newport Coast, Calif. This 103,000-sq.-ft. community center, anchored by a Pavilions supermarket, will open in Spring 2002.

  • Cherry Orchard, Sunnyvale, Calif. The Irvine Co.'s first off-ranch retail project, a 60,000-sq.-ft. specialty center, will be anchored by Borders and P.F. Chang's China Bistro. Completion is scheduled for Spring 2002.

SIDEBAR: A new design, a new name: Burbank Center

Media City Center in Burbank, Calif., is one component of a successful retail village including an eclectic group of tenants such as IKEA, Virgin Megastore and Sport Chalet. The area is a must-shop spot for the trade area's 691,000 residents, and Media City Center itself — with anchors Sears, Mervyn's and Macy's — brings in $300 million in annual sales.

So why is the center being renamed and reconfigured by its owner, Manhattan Beach, Calif.-based Center Trust? The problem is the three-level mall's ground floor, which has failed to achieve the success of the two upper levels, says Center Trust president and CEO Ned Fox.

“The overall center is doing very well,” he says, “but we needed a solution to a problem that has plagued a succession of retailers since the center's opening.” The center's weak initial design placed the main mall entrance on the middle level, restricting access to the retailers on the 150,000-sq.-ft. ground level.

CenterTrust explored various options, including converting the ill-fated ground level to office space, but in the end, they decided to stick with retail, but tweak the format.

“Small shops weren't performing well on the bottom level, says Alan Pullman of Long Beach, Calif.-based Perkowitz + Ruth's Studio One Eleven division, which is handling the redesign along with Boulder, Colo.-based CommArts. “So we reconfigured the first floor to include large-scale, destination shops with 20,000 to 40,000-sq.-ft. footprints.”

After completion in winter 2002, the project will be a two-level mall sitting on a one-level destination retail center, Pullman says. The ground floor is even being branded with the name “Everyday”, signifying the merchandise categories available within. Improved traffic flow planning on the upper levels also helps encourage shoppers to visit the Everyday level.

The transformation will also include an exterior makeover to show more activity at the streetfront elevation. “It should be an exciting, inviting place. As it was originally designed, it looks more like the water department from the outside,” Fox says.

The center's new look isn't the only change in store. It is sheddingits former moniker as well. Now called Burbank Center, the mall is well-positioned to become an integral part of the Burbank customer's everyday family life.

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