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Retail Beat

Atlantic Station developers tap retail ‘dream team’

Atlanta-based Atlantic Station LLC has put together a team to develop the retail and entertainment portion of the 14 million sq. ft., mixed-use project it plans to build on the Atlantic Steel Mill site in Midtown Atlanta. Atlantic Station, which is a partnership between Atlanta-based Jacoby Development Inc. and AIG Global Real Estate Investment Corp., has decided to take over the development reins following the withdrawal of Arlington, Va.-based Mill Corp.

In addition, the partners have tapped Baltimore-based Development Design Group Inc. (DDG) to design the retail and entertainment district. Preliminary plans include a large, open-air public town center with sidewalk cafes,fountains and a central park. John B. Clark, DDG president, will be the architect for the retail center.

The McGarey Group LLC, Washington, D.C., will merchandise and lease the project. Martin, Mantle and Bignon LLC, an Orlando, Fla.-based consulting and marketing firm, will work with the retail team to secure retail, restaurant and entertainment agreements for the center.

The Atlantic Station development will include high- and mid-rise office space; a street-side retail and entertainment district; an integrated retail, office, residential and parking facility; multi- and single-family housing (for both rent and sale); hotels; and transportation and recreation facilities. Current zoning allows for approximately 20 million sq. ft.

Windy City's vacant Block 37 wins planning board approval

The Chicago Plan Commission has granted approval for the development of 100 N. State St., a $250 million project designed by Chicago-based Solomon Cordwell Buenz & Associates (SCB). The 1.3 million sq. ft., mixed-use development, owned by Chicago-based JMB Realty Corp., is designed to revitalize the long-vacant Block 37 site, which is bordered by State, Randolph, Washington and Dearborn streets. Groundbreaking is slated for the fall of this year.

100 N. State St. will include 425,000 sq. ft. of retail space anchored by Lord & Taylor, and a 12-story, 360-room Marriott Hotel — both of which will be developed by Chicago-based Urban Shopping Centers, an affiliate of JMB Realty. A 50-story, 350-unit condominium tower to be developed by MCZ Development also will be included. A one-acre public garden, which will be located 4 stories above street level, will complete the project.

Cushman & Wakefield zeroes in on retail sector

In a major move to increase its retail business nationwide, New York-based Cushman & Wakefield Inc. has formed a new business group, Retail Services. James Wassel has been named national director and will head the new group.

Through the new business group, Cushman & Wakefield will increase its services to both retailers and owners. The responsibilities of Retail Services include strategic planning, transaction structuring and lease negotiation, national tenant representation, site selection, evaluation of retailer demand, concept development, store development planning and supply-chain strategies.

For landlords, the firm is offering owner services, which includes marketing for tenant procurement and property acquisition, evaluation of retailer demand, and market research and demographic studies.

Preliminary approval granted for Gulf Coast development

The city council of Panama City Beach, Fla., recently approved preliminary development plans for Pier Park, a multi-phase entertainment and retail project in Panama City Beach. More than two years ago, the City of Panama City Beach and The St. Joe Co., based in Jacksonville, Fla., teamed up to make the concept of Pier Park a reality.

According to Kris Wilhelm, St. Joe's director of development, Pier Park's master plan features an 80-acre city park, six acres of beach frontage, 50 acres of retail shops and restaurants, a 30-acre entertainment attraction and 80 acres of commercial space with highway frontage.

Pier Park is scheduled to break ground this fall. The first phase of development will feature a 200,000 sq. ft. retail village with more than 80 name-brand retailers and manufacturers. Phase I anchors will include Jimmy Buffet's Margaritaville, a 300-seat restaurant offering live entertainment in addition to Cajun and Caribbean-style dining. Also on the drawing boards is the Grand Ole Opry Theater, which will be a 1,500-seat venue designed in the tradition of the original country music landmark in Nashville, Tenn.

Panama City Beach expects to benefit from a projected net annual increase of $1.25 million in city taxes generated by Pier Park upon total build-out.

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