Retail Beat

Manhattan market loses major retail hub in WTC attack

The terrorist attack that leveled the World Trade Center towers Sept. 11 also destroyed the retail complex beneath the massive buildings. The 427,000 sq. ft. Westfield Shoppingtown World Trade Center, which featured 75 specialty stores, restaurants and service retailers, served as many as 50,000 office workers and attracted approximately 150,000 visitors daily.

It will be difficult for displaced retailers to find other locations that pulled in as much traffic as the once-bustling center. The mall had one of the highest producing sales volumes in America with totals in excess of $900 per sq. ft., according to Los Angeles-based Westfield America Inc., which along with New York-based Silverstein Properties Inc. completed a $3.2 billion deal for a 99-year lease of the complex in July.

Retailers of the underground mall included Banana Republic, Bath & Body Works, Borders, The Children's Place, Coach, Cole Haan, Crabtree & Evelyn, Duane Reade, Express, Gap, J. Crew, Lechter's, Lynn's Hallmark, RadioShack, Sam Goody, Sephora, Structure, Tourneau, Warner Bros. Studio Store and Verizon Wireless. (For more coverage of the terrorist attack, please turn to page 68.)

Mills Corp. set to open Discover Mills, introduce new skatepark

The Mills Corp., Arlington, Va., is getting ready for a Nov. 2 grand opening of its new retail and entertainment center in suburban Atlanta. Located at Sugarloaf Parkway and Interstate 85, in Lawrenceville, Ga., Discover Mills will be a fully enclosed 1.4 million sq. ft. shopping center situated on 230 acres.

Discover Mills gets its name from a partnership formed by Mills and New York-based Discover Financial Services through which Discover Card will become the preferred payment method at the center. That partnership signified the first-ever naming rights deal in the shopping center industry.

Anchor tenants will include Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World, For Your Entertainment (F.Y.E.), Jillian's, and Off 5th — Saks Fifth Avenue Outlet. More than 200 specialty stores will complete the center.

A new entertainment concept also will debut at Discover Mills. Bristol, Conn.-based ESPN Inc. has entered into a licensing agreement with Mills Corp. to create the first X Games Skatepark, which is named after ESPN's X Games action sports franchise.

Up to seven X Games Skateparks are planned for development in Mills-owned properties. The skateparks will be built in both existing properties and those under development, including Arundel Mills in Baltimore/Washington, D.C.; Franklin Mills in Philadelphia; and Grapevine Mills in Dallas.

Each 40,000 sq. ft. — 50,000 sq. ft. X Games Skatepark will provide public facilities for skateboarding, bike stunt riding and in-line skating. The venues also will house a large-screen television for X Games' viewing parties, a skaters' and riders' lounge with viewing area, and a major retail outlet stocked with action sports merchandise including clothing, equipment, footwear and video games. The skateparks also will become the setting of national and local exhibitions, including stops on ESPN events such as the Dave Mirra Tour.

For the Discover Mills location, Woodward Camp has designed the skaters' and riders' facility in conjunction with ESPN and Mills. Woodward also has developed a day camp, which will offer instruction and education for young action sports athletes.

New power center planned for Coachella Valley in California

Riley/Carver LLC, a partnership formed by Los Angeles-based Malcolm Riley & Associates and The Carver Cos., Indian Wells, Calif., plans to develop a 70-acre power center in Palm Desert, Calif. Desert Gateway Shopping Center will be located off Interstate 10 Freeway at the intersection of Monterey Ave. and Dinah Shore Drive.

Designed by Pasadena, Calif.-based MCG Architecture, the 700,000 sq. ft. upscale retail center will be anchored by a 148,759 sq. ft. Wal-Mart with an extra 74,702 sq. ft. available for a supermarket, and a 153,000 sq. ft. Sam's Club. Approximately 350,000 sq. ft. of additional retail stores and restaurants will complete the center.

Brent Howell and Maggie Montez of Los Angeles-based CB Richard Ellis Retail Services are leasing and marketing agents for the project. Desert Gateway is scheduled to open in the Spring of 2003.

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