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Highlights of Real Estate's Big Show

RECon 2013 showcased the new, and the renewed

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Expansion was the talk of the aisles in the Las Vegas convention center, as the International Council of Shopping Centers hosted its annual RECon global real estate convention May 19-22.

"We never really had a downturn," said Stephen Gallant, VP facilities development with Jos. A. Bank Clothiers, in the Women's Special Interest Group presentation "Retail: The Next Wave."

"We opened an average of 50 stores a year during the recession, and are continuing to gather strength in the more recent months and years," he noted.

The panel was moderated by Faith Hope Consolo, Retail Group chairman for Douglas Elliman Real Estate; other panelists included Chain Store Age editor-in-chief Marianne Wilson, BaubleBar co-founder Daniella Yacobovsky, Ann Inc. senior VP real estate George Sappenfield, and RetailWire Braintrust editorial board member James Tenser.

Despite the quickening pace of store expansion, the leasing process itself is increasingly more complicated. "Deal-making now involves more approvals, with financial people involved on the landlord side," said Ann Inc.'s Sappenfield during the SIG discussion. "Securing new sites is no longer a handshake deal; it has become more bureaucratic."

Closer scrutiny, though, can make for a better deal for all parties involved, the panel agreed. And for those chains in expansion mode, the site choices are prolific — whether in new ground-up projects or sweeping redevelopments.

On these pages are several projects featured at RECon 2013, each representing some of the premium spaces coming to market this year and beyond.

THE MALL AT BAY PLAZA

Location: Bronx, N.Y. (200 Baychester Ave., at the crossroads of I-95 and Hutchinson River Parkway)

Size: 780,000 sq. ft.

Developer: Prestige Properties & Development Co.

Anchor Tenants: Macy's, J.C. Penney

Leasing Contact: Jerry Welkis, Welco Realty (914) 576-7500, lwelkis@welcorealty.com

Status: Slated for a spring 2014 opening

The Mall at Bay Plaza, adjacent to the outdoor Bay Plaza Shopping Center, is the first enclosed fashion mall to be built in New York City in more than 40 years. The Northeast Bronx site features highway visibility with more than 250,000 cars passing the site daily, and has direct access off Interstate 95 and the Hutchinson River Parkway.

Prestige Properties isn't cutting any corners on the $300 million-plus development project that will add a 780,000-sq.-ft. enclosed retail mall along with an 1,800-car parking garage.

"We spared no expense," said Sam Shalem, chairman and CEO, Prestige Properties. "We are building something that we — and the community — will be proud of." Macy's will build a three-story, 160,000-sq.-ft. store — its first ground-up project in New York in 15 years.

VILLAGE AT THE PEAKS

Location: Longmont, Colo. (Hover Road and Hwy. 119)

Size: 500,000 sq. ft.

Developer: NewMark Merrill Mountain States

Key Tenants: Whole Foods, Regal Cinemas, Sam's Club

Leasing Contact: Allen Ginsborg, aginsborg@newmarkmerrill.com, (970) 377-1135

Status: Scheduled opening is late 2014

The redevelopment of Twin Peaks Mall into Village at the Peaks injects a vibrant village experience into an outdated 28-year-old mall.

Developer NewMark Merrill Mountain States has worked to give the community what it asked for: a stadium-style movie theater, a natural grocer, a large-format discounter and, above all, a place to gather.

With the breathtaking Twin Peaks of the Colorado Rocky Mountains as its backdrop, the new Twin Peaks Mall will offer 400,000 sq. ft. of large-format, anchor and restaurant space, along with 100,000 sq. ft. of boutique and specialty retail.

In May, three major tenants were announced: Longmont's first Whole Foods Market; a new, state-of-theart Regal Cinemas; and Sam's Club.

DESTINY USA

Location: Syracuse, N.Y.

Size: 2.4 million sq. ft.

Developer: Pyramid Management Group

Key Tenants: T.J. Maxx, Macy's, Lord & Taylor, Dick's Sporting Goods, Saks Fifth Avenue OFF 5th, Michael Kors, BCBG MaxAzria, Brooks Brothers Factory Store, WonderWorks, Pole Position Raceway, Funny Bone Comedy Club, Toby Keith's I Love This Bar and Grill, P.F. Chang's, Cantina Laredo, Gordon Biersch Brewery Restaurants, Coach, Sephora

Leasing Contact: Pete Berardi, peterberardi@pyramidmg.com, (315) 422-7000

Status: Construction complete, actively leasing

Located in Syracuse, N.Y., midway between New York City and Niagara Falls, Destiny USA is an easily accessible, fully enclosed, 2.4 million-sq.-ft. travel destination with more than 230 brands, including department stores, luxury outlets, factory stores, traditional retail shops, fine dining and a wide array of entertainment venues.

Destiny USA is the largest LEED Gold certified retail commercial building in the world. More than 29 million annual visits are anticipated in its first full year of operation, according to Travel + Leisure Magazine. Currently at more than 23 million annual visits, Destiny USA is the 8th most visited shopping destination in the country.

RENAISSANCE AT COLONY PARK

Location: Ridgeland, Miss. (I-55 at Old Agency Road exit)

Size: 500,000 sq. ft. upon completion of Phase II

Developers: Mattiace Properties and H.C. Bailey Cos.

Key Tenants: Apple Store, Ethan Allen, Barnes & Noble, The Fresh Market, Aqua The Day Spa, Hyatt Place Hotel

Leasing Contact: Andrew Mattiace, (601) 352-1818, email c/o jan@mattiace.com

Status: Phase I open and 95% leased. Construction of Phase II projected to be complete in fall 2014.

Renaissance at Colony Park, in Ridgeland, Miss., brings the finest in fashion and retail shops and restaurants to the Jackson Metro Area and the entire state of Mississippi. First opened in March 2008, Renaissance tenants include — besides those listed above — a lineup of specialty retailers such as Ann Taylor and LOFT, Anthropologie, Banana Republic and Charming Charlie; and restaurant offerings such as Another Broken Egg Café, Biaggi's Ristorante Italiano, P.F. Chang's and Ruth's Chris Steak House.

The open-air Main Street center features a European and Mediterranean-style architecture, and amenities such as an elaborate Italian fountain and beautiful clock tower.

Upon completion of Phase II, Renaissance at Colony Park will consist of approximately 500,000 sq. ft. of building space on 57 acres and 50,000 sq. ft. of office space above the retail shops.

© 2014