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Mixed-Use Mania

In a move to maximize the value of its assets, the Macerich Co. plans to add mixed-use components to its mall portfolio. “We try to make our properties the town center of where they are located,” says Douglas Healey, senior vice president of leasing for Macerich. “What better way to retain customers than to have hotels or residential space on the same property as retail.”

Macerich is trying to win approval to include 3 million square feet of high-rise space at its Tysons Corner Center near Washington, D.C., for either office, residential or hotel use. During the company's recent third-quarter conference call, Arthur Coppola, president and CEO, said he expects an OK within three to six months.

Macerich just completed a 362,000-square-foot, three-level expansion at Tysons Corner, including a 16-screen AMC theater and a Barnes & Noble.

Meanwhile, its Phoenix-based Westcor subsidiary recently won city approval to increase height restrictions at its Biltmore Fashion Park from 140 to 165 feet with the possibility of adding high-rise towers. “To date, most of our interest comes from hotel and high-rise condominium developers,” says David Scholl, Westcor senior vice president of development. Scholl says, however, that the company is still years away from adding mixed-use to Biltmore, which was originally constructed in the 1960s. Management's main priority is the center's current renovation, he says.

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