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Major shopping center openings in 2014 beg the question, “Are we back on track?”

Last year may be the first 365-day period since the Great Recession that there is enough new shopping center space to crow about.

Chain Store Age’s annual development survey — spanning 26 years — reported pretty spotty new-build efforts from 2009 to 2013, but in 2014 some significant projects opened. Clearly, retailer demand for space is increasing, and developers are responding.

Featured here are 10 shopping center companies that saw notable increases in square footage last year. Most significant was The Howard Hughes Corporation, Dallas, that opened its Downtown Summerlin (Las Vegas) project, heralded as the country’s largest retail development to open since the recession. Taubman opened the 880,000-sq.-ft. Mall at University Town Center in Sarasota, Florida, and Simon ran rampant with its outlet property openings. All suggest there is plenty of shopping center growth to come.

Consistent with the last six years, we have not attempted to rank a “Fastest-Growing Developers” listing but rather have arranged the companies alphabetically and provide highlights of one or more 2014 projects from each. All new developments and expansion projects were completed between Jan. 1 and Dec. 31, 2014.

CBL & Associates Properties

Chattanooga, Tennessee

Much of the 1,109,716 sq. ft. that CBL & Associates Properties opened last year was expansions to existing centers, but one major ground-up opening added nearly 375,000 sq. ft. to CBL’s 2014 totals.

The Outlet Shoppes of the Bluegrass, located in Louisville, Kentucky, is a CBL-Horizon Group Properties joint venture that opened in July 2014. The 374,587-sq.-ft. center is Kentucky’s only outlet center, and brings names such as Saks Fifth Avenue OFF 5TH, Nike, Brooks Brothers, Guess, Coach, Michael Kors, Gucci, Kate Spade and Tumi to the market.

The project opened 100% leased and is expected to draw more than 6 million visitors annually from Kentucky, Ohio and Indiana. The Outlet Shoppes of the Bluegrass boasts landscaped courtyards, vibrant architectural features and a lively setting that includes a children’s play area, center court stage with fireplace, fountains, and other amenities to encourage shoppers to enjoy the retail and entertainment choices.

Donahue Schriber

Costa Mesa, California

Donahue Schriber opened 474,000 sq. ft. last year, comprising openings of its Rocklin Commons and Rocklin Crossings developments. Located in Rocklin, California, Rocklin Commons will feature total GLA of 360,000 sq. ft. when complete (Donahue Schriber opened 270,000 sq. ft. in 2014), and Rocklin Crossings will measure 525,000 sq. ft. at completion (204,000 sq. ft. was opened last year). Both are located along Interstate 80, which leads to such destinations as Reno, Nevada, and Sacramento, California. Rocklin Commons is anchored by Target and also features Ross, Stein Mart, Studio Movie Grill, ULTA, and other eateries and services. Rocklin Crossings is anchored by Walmart and PetSmart, and will feature Bass Pro Shops (coming this fall).

The Howard Hughes Corp.


Howard Hughes Corp. did more than its part last year to show that shopping centers remain relevant and vibrant. The company opened 1.85 million sq. ft. in new space: The Outlet Collection at Riverwalk (250,000 sq. ft.) in New Orleans and Downtown Summerlin (1.6 million sq. ft.) in Las Vegas.

The Outlet Collection at Riverwalk opened May 22 and was noteworthy in its own right, in that it is billed as the nation’s first downtown outlet center. Its arrival also served as a bright spot for a city still recovering 10 years after Hurricane Katrina.

But the biggest news in 2014 was Howard Hughes’ unveiling of Downtown Summerlin, the nation’s largest retail development to open since the recession. The 106-acre, 1.6 million-sq.-ft. mixed-use project opened Oct. 9 in the heart of the Summerlin master-planned community and features more than 125 stores and restaurants, along with a nine-story office building. Anchors include a 5-screen Regal Cinema, Macy’s and Dillard’s.

National Realty & Development Corp.

Purchase, New York

NRDC completed 255,280 sq. ft. in 2014, with its Pohatcong Plaza project — in Phillipsburg, New Jersey — remaining a development focus. Total GLA for the center is 537,410 sq. ft.; last year, NRDC opened 105,480 sq. ft. by redeveloping a former Walmart building to accommodate three new tenants and constructing a new pad building. The new units were leased to Hobby Lobby, Marshalls and HomeGoods, and the newly built pad was leased to Quaker Steak & Lube.

Liberty Square Center (Burlington, New Jersey) added 70,000 sq. ft. when Walmart expanded to a Supercenter, and Marketplace at Manville (Manville, New Jersey) also saw expansion when Walmart transitioned into a Supercenter, and a former A&P building was redeveloped to accommodate new tenants.



PREIT added square footage to nine properties last year, totaling 273,507 sq. ft. of new space. While all of the projects involved transformation, PREIT’s Viewmont Mall (Scranton, Pennsylvania) perhaps experienced the greatest evolution, as the 768,000-sq.-ft. mall received a major remerchandising that added national, upscale and noteworthy tenants to the merchant mix. A 15,000-sq.-ft. Forever 21 joined the property, and a 10,000-sq.-ft. ULTA was announced to open in 2015.

The new 6,000-sq.-ft. Buffalo Wild Wings added a sports-bar and multi-media entertainment facet to the current lineup of restaurant and retail offerings, and played into PREIT’s global plan to enhance merchandise offerings in its portfolio of 35 shopping malls.

Regency Centers

Jacksonville, Florida

Regency Centers opened 652,588 sq. ft. during 2014, comprising four completed developments (totaling 481,747 sq. ft.) in California, North Carolina, Illinois and Indiana, as well as two underway projects. Brooklyn Station on Riverside in Regency’s hometown of Jacksonville and Fountain Square in Miami had tenant openings that contributed another 170,841 sq. ft. to its footprint.

Brooklyn Station on Riverside features The Fresh Market, the first grocery store to come to the downtown Jacksonville core in 40 years. Other tenants include Corner Bakery Café, Burger Fi and Zoes Kitchen.

Fountain Square added 137,398 sq. ft. in 2014 and includes Publix Sabor, Target, ULTA, Ross Dress for Less, T.J. Maxx and more. And the 87,340-sq.-ft. Shops at Erwin Mill, located in Durham, North Carolina, opened in February 2014 with Durham’s only new grocery-anchored center (Harris Teeter). In typical Regency Centers style, the center offers place-making elements, such as patio dining and walkability.

Simon Property Group


A regular on CSA’s Top Developers list, Simon opened 1.48 million sq. ft. in 2014, including four U.S. projects: Charlotte (North Carolina) Premium Outlets, a ground-up 398,000-sq.-ft. center; Twin City Premium Outlets in Eagan, Minnesota, another ground-up project measuring 409,000 sq. ft.; an expansion to St. Johns Town Center in Jacksonville, Florida; and an expansion to Desert Hills Premium Outlets, in Cabazon (Palm Springs), California.

Simon also opened three international projects: Premium Outlets Montreal, in Mirabel, Canada; Premium Outlets Punta Norte, in Mexico City, Mexico; and Toki Premium Outlets, in Toki (Nagoya), Japan.

Twin Cities Premium Outlets, which opened in August in the Minneapolis-St. Paul metro area, feat

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