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Inching Forward


For the last 20 years,

In our 21st year, we have temporarily changed course. Because of the recession and its resultant impact on the number of projects that actually got built, we decided that “fastest-growing” was probably a misnomer. It would make more sense to highlight the projects that actually did come out of the ground in 2009.

Ground-up projects such as The Promenade, CBL’s 700,000-sq.-ft. power center in D’Iberville, Miss., which opened last October in a joint venture with Forum Development. And Settlers Ridge, CBL’s 600,000-sq.-ft. regional open-air center that opened near Pittsburgh.

The December opening of Crystals at Project City Center in Las Vegas garnered a lot of fanfare. So did WS Development and National Amusements’ opening of the much-heralded Legacy Place, the 675,000-sq.-ft. mixed-use project in Dedham, Mass.

Most of the developed square footage in 2009 came from expansion projects to existing centers, such as Westfield’s 330,000-sq.-ft. expansion of its Westfield Culver City mall in Culver City, Calif. And Bayer Properties’ addition of 100,000 sq. ft. of retail to its The Summit development in Birmingham, Ala.

So, despite that scarcity of new-builds, which altered our annual coverage of the fastest-growing developers in this issue, there still is plenty to celebrate for 2009. Following are 15 of the more notable projects, listed alphabetically by center, that opened between Jan. 1, 2009, and Dec. 31, 2009.

Cincinnati Premium Outlets Cincinnati

Simon Property Group had a busy year in 2009 despite the downturn. The Indianapolis-based developer expanded one of its Premium Outlet centers, as well as built two ground-up outlets—one in Japan and one in Cincinnati. The Cincinnati Premium Outlets, which opened on Aug. 6, is 338,300 sq. ft. of designer and name-brand outlet stores, including BCBG Max Azria, Banana Republic, Brooks Brothers, Coach, Cole Haan, Michael Kors, Saks Off Fifth and Kenneth Cole. Cincinnati Premium Outlets is the 51st Premium Outlet center worldwide and illustrates the vibrancy of Simon’s Chelsea division even in a recession.

Crystals at CityCenter Las Vegas

The December 2009 grand opening of Crystals at City-Center marked more than just a rare opening in a down year, but an almost unheard-of luxury debut. The retail and entertainment portion of CityCenter, an urban resort destination between Bellagio and Monte Carlo resorts on the Las Vegas Strip, Crystals features stunning architecture and an unprecedented lineup of luxury retail and dining, including one of the largest Louis Vuitton stores in the world, as well as flagships for Tiffany & Co., Prada, Gucci, Roberto Cavalli and Ermenegildo Zegna, and Eva Longoria Parker’s Beso restaurant and two new concepts by Wolfgang Puck. The 500,000-sq.-ft. district is a joint venture of MGM Mirage and Infinity World Development Corp., a subsidiary of Dubai World. The Taubman Co., Bloomfield Hills, Mich., is responsible for the leasing of Crystals, as well as served as adviser in the development, planning and design of the project.

Culpeper Colonnade Culpeper, Va.

Phases one and two of Culpeper Colonnade opened in June in the Washington, D.C., suburb and features the only Target within 35 miles, as well as a Martin’s supermarket. Despite the grocery-anchored center’s expansive size of 267,032 sq. ft., it is 97% leased and includes a PetSmart, Staples, Chick-fil-A and Glory Days Grill.

East River Plaza New York City

The 110,000 sq. ft. of opened space at East River Plaza in New York City brought Manhattan its first Costco, which opened November 2009. Developed by Forest City Ratner, a division of Cleveland-based Forest City Enterprises, and Blumenfeld Development Group, East River Plaza will open Best Buy, Old Navy, Marshalls, PetSmart and Target in 2010, moving the East Harlem project toward its planned 500,000 sq. ft. of multi-level retail on the site of the former Washburn Wire factory.

Hammond Square Hammond, La.

Covington, La.-based Stirling Properties added about 200,000 sq. ft. to Hammond Square when it redeveloped the Hammond, La., shopping center in 2009. Now a 630,000-sq.-ft. combination power and lifestyle center, Hammond Square features department stores Dillard’s, J.C. Penney and Sears, as well as discount and power retailers Target, T.J. Maxx and Best Buy. A Main Street wing features lifestyle retailers, restaurants and an AMC Theatre. Future development plans will expand the center to 850,000 sq. ft., a huge step forward from the 30-year-old, formerly enclosed middle-market mall that was outdated and functionally obsolete.

Legacy Place Dedham, Mass.

When Chestnut Hill, Mass.-based WS Development and Dedham, Mass.-based National Amusements opened the 675,000-sq.-ft. mixed-use project Legacy Place in August, it was one of less than a handful of major shopping centers to open in 2009. The open-air shopping, dining and entertainment destination features Whole Foods Market, L.L. Bean, Borders and Showcase Cinema de Lux, as well as a lineup of restaurants that includes P.F. Changs and Aquitaine. The project also has a sustainable bent, with an elaborate water-saving system, smart-growth planning and wet-lands preservation. In November 2009, Citizens Bank signed leases to occupy about 50,000 sq. ft. of office and retail space at Legacy Place, and will operate a consumer and business banking and marketing hub from the premises.

Levittown Town Center Levittown, Pa.

One of the more notable redevelopment projects in 2009 was the overhaul of Levittown from an older open-air center into a thoroughly modern town center. Developed by Tarrytown, N.Y.-based DLC Management Corp., Levittown Town Center was expanded in 2009 into a 468,675-sq.-ft. shopping destination anchored by Wal-Mart Supercenter, Ross Dress for Less and Home Depot. Ten of the center’s 12 buildings were completed and opened during 2009.

Northgate San Rafael, Calif.

Developed by Santa Monica, Calif.-based Macerich, Northgate opened in November 2009 with 725,000 sq.-ft. of redeveloped space in the heart of Marin County. Macerich transformed the existing mall by blurring indoor-outdoor boundaries, adding outdoor dining and gathering space to the enclosed mall. The reinvigorated Northgate features new-to-market retailers, as well as anchors Macy’s, Sears and Century Theatres.

Peninsula Town Center Hampton, Va.

Although Peninsula Town Center officially celebrated its grand opening in March 2010, developers Steiner + Associates, Columbus, Ohio, and Mall Properties, Great Neck, N.Y., opened 375,000 sq. ft. of the mixed-use project in 2009. Of the total 1.1 million sq. ft. of retail, residential and office components, 375,000 sq. ft. of new and redeveloped space opened last year—despite the recessionary climate. “In an economy that is down, we are opening this remarkable mixed-use project,” Yaromir Steiner, founder and CEO of Steiner + Associates, told Chain Store Age in a recent interview published in the March 2010 issue. “Today, to open a project with 70 tenants is a victory.” Existing tenants include Macy’s, Barnes & Noble, Target and J.C. Penney.

The Promenade D’Iberville, Miss.

Developed by Chattanooga, Tenn.-based CBL & Associates Properties in a joint venture with Forum Development Group, based out of Atlanta, The Promenade features nearly 700,000 sq. ft. of power retail in D’Iberville, Miss. What is most significant about the project, which opened October 2009, is that it represents the largest retail development in the Mississippi Gulf Coast sin

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