Retail Traffic

Swollen Pipeline

Forest City Enterprises has a record nine projects working their way through its retail development pipeline.

The Cleveland, Ohio-based firm has 4 million square feet of commercial projects in development now; six open-air centers coming on line in 2008 and three more projects scheduled for 2009. Another 500,000 square feet of commercial development is being staged. Forest City has a partner on all its projects except for the one in Bolingbrook, Ill.

It is a marked increase from the one shopping center per year Forest City has done for the past four years. “This is a pretty robust pipeline for us,” says David LaRue, President and COO at Forest City. “We think these market will continue to grow. But, it's too early for us to know what kind of development activity we'll have in 2010. It depends on the smoke signals from the economy and housing.”

A strong economy combined with a residential boom is responsible for Forest City projecting an estimated $700 million worth of projects for 2008. And, that's just along the East Coast.

In Tampa, Fla., Forest City has partnered with the Goodman Co. to develop the Shops at Wiregrass, a 750,000-square-foot open-air center. The retail will be anchored by Dillard's and JCPenney. It is a component of the 5,000-plus-acre master-planned community called Wiregrass Ranch that will be the site for 16,000 homes.

Also in the Sunshine State, Forest City is developing a 445,000-square-foot mixed-use project called the Village at Gulfstream Park in Aventura. The center will include 375,000 square feet of lifestyle retail and 70,000 square feet of office space. It is adjacent to Magna Entertainment Corp.'s racetrack and casino.

Another East Coast project is The Shops at White Oak Village in Richmond, Va., a 900,000-square-foot power center/lifestyle center hybrid.

In New York City, East River Plaza will be a 514,000-square foot-project housing big-box retailers Home Depot, Best Buy and Manhattan's first Target.

In Pennsylvania, Forest City is developing Summit Lehigh Valley, a mixed-use project in Bethlehem Township that will have one million square feet of retail space.

Its two other projects scheduled for development in 2008 are: Orchard Town Center in Westminster, Colo., a 1.1-million-square-foot town center and Bolingbrook South, its solo project with 355,000 square feet of retail adjacent to hotel and office space.

TAGS: Development
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