Although retail demands shift as borders are crossed, opportunity is evident throughout the region.

There is a joke about a motorist who wants to know whether his turn signals are working properly. He enlists an aid, who stands behind the vehicle and responds, "They're working; they're not working; they're working; they're not working." Midwestern retail developments may be summed up the same way.

Big boxes are performing well in Springfield, Mo., while their twins are underperforming in Chicago. Regional malls are strong in Grand Rapids, Mich., but they are weaker in Cleveland. Even in a single metropolitan area -- Columbus, Ohio -- a power center is shining near a university, while others in the city are shadowed.

Only those shopping centers anchored by grocery and/or drug stores appear to be wired for regional success. They are working quite well everywhere.

Investors show renewed interest Unemployment is at a record low throughout the Midwest, including Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio and Wisconsin. "The Midwest reflects the country," says John Oharenko, vice president for GMAC Commercial Mortgage Corporation in Chicago. "All its states have healthy economies."

There are labor shortages for retail operations but no lack of investment money for building projects. Investors have money to spend, says Oharenko, and interest in real estate is equal to or greater than ever before. "Good real estate of all kinds, including retail, is at a premium," he notes.

Steve Livaditis, investment specialist for Cushman & Wakefield, Chicago, says the retail real estate market is "waking up" after a dormant period. "It's part of a natural cycle," he explains. "Investors are looking for good returns, and returns from shopping centers now are better than they were."

Retail investment is increasing as investors move their funds from other types of real estate, says Livaditis. Properties such as well-located, grocery-anchored shopping centers may produce initial yields as high as 10.5 percent, he reports.

Solid performance records and good sites are key to garnering funding for retail developments, notes Oharenko. "It's less important for a project to have the best credit than for it to be well-located and feature retailers with good sales histories," he says.

Encouraging incomes To an outsider, the Midwest has the demographics to support proven national retailers. According to New York-based Sales & Marketing Management (SMM) magazine, which publishes an annual five-year population and spending power projection for all U.S. counties, the Midwest is harboring a few financial strongholds.

According to the report, Illinois, Minnesota and Michigan lead their sister states in percentages of metropolitan county households having "effective buying incomes" of $50,000 or more per household. Nearly 36 percent of Illinois households meet the mark, followed by 32.0 percent in Minnesota and 31.0 percent in Michigan.

Comparing annual household incomes statewide (including major metropolitan and rural counties), Illinois again leads the Midwest pack. More than 33 percent of Illinois' households boast annual incomes greater than $50,000.

Similarly, throughout the region, a significant number of households report incomes exceeding $50,000 per year. According to SMM, Michigan ranks second (28.4 percent) behind Illinois, followed by Indiana (26.6 percent), Minnesota (26.5 percent), Ohio (26.2 percent), Wisconsin (25.9 percent), Missouri (23.4 percent) and Iowa (21.5 percent).

Based upon its analysis of area incomes and population changes, the magazine projects that, within the next two to three years, retail sales throughout the Midwest will rise. In Iowa, indicators show that, despite small population growth, retail sales for the period will grow 26.8 percent. Meanwhile, sales are projected to rise 25.6 percent in Indiana; 24.3 percent in Minnesota, 21.5 percent in Illinois; and 21.2 percent in Michigan.

Regionally, unemployment for the Midwest stands at 4.3 percent, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Overall, population growth is expected to be moderate over the next few years.

Attention on business districts With stable economies and available funding ahead of them, developers are actively pursuing retail projects throughout the Midwest. However, demands are changing from border to border.

For example, in Chicago, developers and retailers are exhibiting increased interest in central business districts (CBDs). Downtown Chicago's prestigious Michigan Avenue (with a 1.4 percent overall vacancy rate) and bustling State Street (with a 1.6 percent overall vacancy rate) both are enjoying high occupancy.

Tenants that can find space are willing to pay dearly for it, says Bruce A. Kaplan, president of Chicago-based Northern Realty. He reports that monthly rents in the CBD can run as high as $60 sq. ft.

Throughout metro Chicago, many districts are witnessing a similar scramble for retail space. National clothing chains and booksellers are squeezing in, often using limited space in existing buildings.

The CBD surge is "kind of a regional mall backlash by consumers who dislike the size and complexity of malls," Kaplan says. The business districts attract shoppers who want to have a sandwich at a corner bakery, patronize an independent shopkeeper and enjoy the character of an urban neighborhood, he explains.

Eager to revamp their sagging downtowns, Chicago-area municipalities are supporting CBD activity, says Jeff Kuchman, vice president and tenant brokerage director for Mid-America Real Estate Corp., Oakbrook, Terrace, Ill. He reports that local governments are offering financial incentives to spark redevelopment projects.

Outside the business district, grocery stores are in high demand, Kuchman reports. "Chicago is in a back-to-basics mode," he says. "Grocery/drug store-anchored shopping center development isbooming." Jewel and Dominick's supermarkets have 40 projects either under construction or planned for the Chicago area, he adds.

Second- and third-tier retailers are dropping out of the market, causing a rise in vacancies for stores measuring 20,000 sq. ft. to 50,000 sq. ft. "A lot of that -- and it's approaching a total of 1 million sq. ft. -- is tired space whose time is past," Kuchman says. "We estimate 35--40 percent of the space should never be retail again."

Mid-America's 1997 shopping center report projects 5.5 million sq. ft. under development in Chicago this year. Thirty-five shopping centers should open in 1997, and 23 more are expanding. A big box vacancy check shows 175 spaces available, comprising 9.5 million sq. ft.

Projections for 1998 call for 6.3 million sq. ft. of development, according to Mid-America. The firm estimates that 30 new centers will open, and 11 will expand.

Project types vary Unlike Chicago, where power centers appear to be slowing in favor of neighborhood centers, St. Louis is exhibiting an upswing in big box demand. An influx of restaurants, particularly theme eateries, and intense competition among home decorating/improvement retailers are driving the search for good locations, says Scott Saunders, spokesman for Colliers Turley Martin in St. Louis.

"St. Louis is a hodgepodge of demographics, and many locations continue to be profitable," he says. "Right now, it's a sellers' market. There are many [parties] looking to buy and not too many selling. Property is at a fairly low cap rate."

Among existing retail properties, West County Mall is making news in St. Louis. Owned by Los Angeles-based Westfield, the center is slated for redevelopment and the eventual arrival of Missouri's first Nordstrom.

Redevelopment also is at the forefront of retail activity in Columbus, Ohio. Continental Real Estate, Columbus, recently converted a former Lennox heating and air-conditioning factory to a 450,000 sq. ft. power center. Located across the street from Ohio Stadium, Lennox Power Center features Target, Barnes & Noble, Old Navy Clothing Co. and AMC Theatres.

Similarly, a development in Detroit has industrial ties. Model T Plaza L.L.C., Highland Park, Mich., is developing a 110,000 sq. ft. shopping center at the site of a former automotive plant.

Ford Motor Co.'s Highland Park plant, where Henry Ford began building the Model T, is currently being used for warehousing and distribution. On the southwest corner of the 20-acre site, Model T Plaza, anchored by Farmer Jack supermarket, will open its doors this November.

Meanwhile, Detroit is poised for downtown retail development, as three proposed casinos, two new sports stadiums and a revitalized theater district boost demand for shops and restaurants.

Regional projects at a standstill In contrast to other types of retail projects, regional and superregional mall development appears dormant in the Midwest. Yet Grand Rapids, Mich., stands out as a city in need.

"We are truly under-malled in this area," says Bill Bussey, commercial properties specialist for Colliers Trerice Tosto Real Estate in Grand Rapids. "Our one mall is Woodland with 990,000 sq. ft. There is less than 1 sq. ft. of regional center space per capita here versus 6 sq. ft. to 12 sq. ft. elsewhere."

At least three centers are on tap for Grand Rapids. In nearby Hudsonville, Walker Towne Centre (1.5 million sq. ft.) and Hudsonville Mall (1.25 million sq. ft.) have been proposed/planned by Robert Schout & Associates, Grand Rapids, Mich. Additionally, Chicago-based General Growth Properties Inc. is developing a 1.3 million sq. ft. regional center in Grandville.

A regional sweep Throughout the Midwest, key metropolitan markets are poised for renewed retail activity. CB Commercial Real Estate Group Inc., based in Los Angeles and with offices throughout the Midwest, provides an overview of the hot spots.

In greater Cincinnati, Montgomery Road is the newest prime location, and the community of Eastgate remains a strong draw. Power centers, department stores, grocery stores, restaurants, and automotive sales and service vendors represent the area's growth segments.

>From its Cleveland office, CB Commercial reports that specialty centers are in demand. The occupancy rate for specialty centers is 95.3 percent, followed by 92.5 percent for major neighborhood centers, 92.3 percent for community centers, 91.0 percent for regional scope centers, and 88.7 percent for regional malls.

Occupancy rates are likely to dip in Minneapolis-St. Paul, according to CB Commercial's Twin Cities office. At the same time, rental rates in "best class" properties may climb slightly, while net rental rates for regional properties are expected to decline. Furthermore, few big-box users are entering the Twin Cities market, and power center development has slowed.

Slowdowns of any sort are not apparent in Indianapolis. Circle Centre, which opened downtown in 1995, continues to exceed expectations in its ability to draw traffic and national retailers. The center is owned by Indianapolis-based Simon DeBartolo Group Inc.

Overall, the metropolitan area's retail vacancy rate was 8.2 percent in 1996, reports Dean Almas, sales and leasing specialist for F. C. Tucker Co., Indianapolis. Nevertheless, the north side of Indianapolis is booming with new retail construction and redevelopment. Outparcels on some northern corridors are priced at $1 million per acre, Almas says.

Restaurants, micro-breweries and bagel shops are growing in number throughout central Indiana, Almas reports. Movie theaters are increasing, but at a slower rate than expected, he adds. Almas predicts increased build-to-suit activity for grocery and drug stores, especially as the latter segment continues its move into freestanding locations.

Throughout the Midwest, developers are hearing rumblings of growth. Although population statistics are projected to remain fairly stable over the next few years, the states' stable economies make the region an attractive target for retailers. The Midwest appears to be ripe for a retail feast; from state to state, however, developers must be prepared for differing menus.

Jenny King is a Grosse Pointe, Mich.-based freelance writer.

Illinois * R.G.H. North Riverside L.L.C., Chicago, recently completed renovation of 30-year-old North Riverside Plaza in North Riverside. The 209,000 sq. ft. center received a new roof and facade, new storefront entrances, an HVAC system upgrade, and a new dock to accommodate Kohl's Department Store. Additional anchors are Best Buy and Burlington Coat Factory. Construction services for the project were supplied by Leopardo Cos. Inc., Glendale Heights, Ill.

* HSS Real Estate Inc., Chicago, recently opened Orchard Place, an 89,000 sq. ft. center in Skokie. The project is anchored by Linens 'N Things and Filene's Basement.

HSS also is renovating University Plaza in Peoria. In addition to resurfacing the parking lot and upgrading the landscaping (completed in June), HSS is demolishing a store formerly occupied by Burlington Coat Factory. In its place, a 46,520 sq. ft. "anchor building" will be added to the center to accommodate one or more major tenants. Construction on the new building is expected to begin this fall. University Plaza tenants include Thompson's Food Basket, Fabric Warehouse, Blockbuster Video and Subway.

* MCL Cos., Chicago, has begun construction on River East, a 13-acre, mixed-use community in Chicago. Located along the north bank of the Chicago River, the $750 million project will include a mix of residential, office and commercial space.

The project's retail component will be housed, along with hotel and additional commercial space, in River East Center. Located on Illinois Street (the east-west link between Michigan Avenue and Navy Pier), the planned center will provide approximately 300,000 sq. ft. for uses ranging from specialized home goods retailing and restaurants to a multi- screen cinema. Construction on River East Center is scheduled to begin early next year.

* Prudential Cullinan Properties Inc., Peoria, Ill., is developing River City Galleria Mall, a 975,000 sq. ft. retail and entertainment center in Peoria. Th e center will accommodate five department store anchors, including Von Maur. The project is scheduled to break ground next year.

* Developers Diversified Realty Corp. (DDR), Moreland Hills, Ohio, is renovating Times Square Mall in Mount Vernon. In addition to remodeling, DDR is installing the center's fourth anchor -- Sears (82,325 sq. ft.) -- thereby bringing the center's total size to 265,986 sq. ft. Scheduled to open this fall, Sears joins existing anchors JCPenney, Stage Department Store and Country Fresh Market. The full renovation will be complete by spring 1998.

DDR is expanding Woodfield Village Green, a 515,819 sq. ft. center in Schaumburg. The addition of Price Costco by next fall will add more than 130,000 sq. ft. to the center. Current anchors include Builder's Square, Service Merchandise, Sports Authority, Marshalls, Circuit City and OfficeMax.

* Chicago-based Landau & Heyman has two Illinois projects under way. In Chicago, the firm is redeveloping a 65,000 sq. ft. atrium located on the bottom two floors of Citicorp Center. The atrium, which contains retail shops and a food court, will be updated in two phases. During the first phase, scheduled for completion this December, the food court will be expanded 40 percent. New tenants include Pacific Rim Express, Seattle's Best Coffee, Auntie Anne's Pretzels and Sweet Factory. Phase II, slated for completion early next year, incorporates common areas, lighting and new signage. Citicorp Center is owned by General Electric Pension Trust, Stanford, Conn.; it is managed by Chicago-based LaSalle Partners.

In Pekin, Landau & Heyman is demalling Pekin Mall, owned by Chicago-based Tazewell Investment Fund. The 490,000 sq. ft. mall will re-open in 1998 as a 350,000 sq. ft., open-air center. The front of the existing center, as well as the common areas, will be demolished. Applebee's Neighborhood Bar & Grill, and First National Bank will join the center, which is anchored by Bergner's and JCPenney.

* Chicago-based Urban Retail Properties Co. has completed renovation of Louis Joliet Mall in Joliet. The project encompassed 84,000 sq. ft. and included new porcelain ceramic tile; interior graphics and planters; interior paint and design; lighting; and interior and exterior entrances. The center is anchored by Carson Pirie Scott, Marshall Field's, JCPenney and Sears. Construction services for the $2.2 million project were supplied by Leopardo Cos. Inc., Glendale Heights, Ill.

* Indianapolis-based Simon DeBartolo Group Inc. is renovating Alton Square, a 629,194 sq. ft. regional center in Alton. Sears recently opened a new store to coincide with the center's rejuvenation; it joins anchors Famous-Barr and JCPenney. Remodeling is scheduled for completion next month.

* Concordia Realty Corp., Westchester, Ill., recently completed renovation of Cermak Plaza in Berwyn. The 40-year-old center, measuring 300,000 sq. ft., received storefront renovations, architectural updates (e.g., ceramic columns, alum- inum copings and canopies) and a new facade. The center is anchored by Marshalls, Service Merchandise and Circuit City. Construction services were supplied by Leopardo Cos. Inc., Glendale Heights, Ill.

Indiana * Muskegon, Mich.-based Horizon Group Inc. recently opened phase VI of Lighthouse Place, a value retail center in Michigan City. The expansion added 57,500 sq. ft. to the center, bringing its total GLA to more than 490,000 sq. ft. Ten retailers, including Claire's Accessories and The Gap, have opened in this latest phase.

* Beachwood, Ohio-based Chase Properties, manager for Pilgrim Place in Plymouth, has announced the completion of an anchor expansion at the center. Last month, JCPenney added more than 8,500 sq. ft. to its existing store. At 183,643 sq. ft., Pilgrim Place includes additional anchors Kmart and Joann Fabrics. It is owned by Plymouth Center L.P., Beachwood.

* Indianapolis-based Simon DeBartolo Group Inc. will renovate Castleton Square, a 1.4 million sq. ft. superregional mall inIndianapolis. To make room for a food court and an 80,000 sq. ft. prototype Galyan's, plans call for the demolition of space formerly occupied by Kohl's. The project also will include new flooring, the addition of skylights and pop-out storefronts, and enhanced interior and exterior landscaping. Construction is scheduled to begin this winter and to be completed by fall 1998. Castleton Square is anchored by JCPenney, Lazarus, L.S. Ayres, Montgomery Ward and Sears.

* Chicago-based Landau & Heyman is redeveloping Glenbrook Square, a 1.4 million sq. ft. superregional mall in Fort Wayne. The 31-year-old center, owned by Northwestern Mutual, Milwaukee, is anchored by Sears, JCPenney, Famous Barr's, L.S. Ayres and Marshall Field's. The project includes the expansion of JCPenney and renovation of the center's food court. It is scheduled for completion early next year.

* Indianapolis-based Gershman Brown & Associates Inc. has completed Lloyd Crossing, a 540,000 sq. ft., superregional power center in Evansville. The $40-million project, which opened in May, is anchored by Wal-Mart Supercenter, Home Depot, Kohl's, Circuit City, PetsMart and Staples.

* Equity Investment Group, Fort Wayne, Ind., has opened Elkhart Market West in Elkhart. The 81,651 sq. ft. center is anchored by Martin's Supermarket and Revco.

Iowa * Noddle Development Co., Omaha, Neb., is renovating 82,000 sq. ft. Atlantic Plaza in Atlantic. Anchored by Hy-Vee (which is adding 13,000 sq. ft. to its store) and Alco Discount, the center is receiving new exterior facias, and new parking lot surfacing, lighting and signage. The project is scheduled for completion this December.

* Chicago-based General Growth Properties Inc. is developing Coral Ridge Mall in Coralville. The 1.1 million sq. ft. center, due for completion next July, will feature Dillard's, JCPenney, Sears, Target and Younkers. In Council Bluffs, General Growth is adding an 80,200 sq. ft. Sears store to Mall of the Bluffs. Existing anchors for the 692,230 sq. ft. center include Dillard's, JCPenney and Target. Sears is scheduled to open next October.

As manager of Lindale Mall in Cedar Rapids, General Growth has announced the completion of the center's expansion and renovation. More than 55,000 sq. ft., including a new food court, was recently added to the center. Anchored by Sears, Von Maur and Younkers, the mall totals 822,139 sq. ft. It is owned by Equitable Life Insurance Co., Atlanta.

Michigan * Malan Realty Investors Inc., Birmingham, Mich., is planning two retail developments: an open-air shopping center in Grandville, and a masterplanned project in Farmington Hills. Construction for the 400,000 sq. ft. Grandville center (as yet unnamed) is planned to begin next spring. Tenants will consist primarily of big-box national and regional retailers. The project is slated to open next fall.

In Farmington, a project comprising 43 acres of commercial development and 33 acres of multi-family residential development is planned. The commercial component will include a 300,000 sq. ft. "lifestyle" center and a 185,000 sq. ft., freestanding Kmart store. The shopping center is being designed to emphasize individual store fronts in a main street setting. Construction dates for the project have not been disclosed.

* Developers Diversified Realty Corp., Moreland Hills, Ohio, is expanding Cascade Crossing in Sault Ste. Marie. Scheduled for completion this December, the project will add OfficeMax (23,000 sq. ft.) to the center's existing anchors: Wal-Mart, Glen's Country Market and JCPenney. The expansion will bring the center's total size to 262,267 sq. ft.

* Southland Acquisitions Ltd. L.L.C., an entity of Meyer C. Weiner Co., Portage, Mich., is developing Southland Shopping Center in Portage. The 51,568 sq. ft. center is scheduled for completion next month. Anchor Circuit City opened in May and will be joined in November by Old Navy Clothing Co. Tenants for the center's small store space have yet to be announced.

* Beachwood, Ohio-based Chase Properties, manager for Saginaw Square in Saginaw, has added a newanchor to the 309,147 sq. ft. center. Joann Etc. (45,000 sq. ft.) opens this month, joining existing anchors Target, Circuit City, Media Play and Staples. The center is owned by Saginaw Center L.P., Beachwood.

* Chicago-based General Growth Properties Inc. is breaking ground this year on RiverTown Crossings, a 1.3 million sq. ft. center in Grandville. Scheduled to open in fall 1999, the center will be anchored by Hudson's, Sears and three additional department stores. In Port Huron, General Growth's Birchwood Mall opened a 100,000 sq. ft. Hudson's department store last month. The 733,485 sq. ft. center features additional anchors Younkers, JCPenney, Sears and Target.

Minnesota * General Growth Properties Inc., Chicago, is expanding Eden Prairie Center, a 984,320 sq. ft. center in Eden Prairie. Anchored by Sears, Target, Kohl's and Mervyn's, the center is adding a 225,000 sq. ft. Dayton's department store and a 75,000 sq. ft. theater. The project is scheduled for completion in 1999.

* Developers Diversified Realty Corp., Moreland Hills, Ohio, reports that Kmart is adding more than 27,000 sq. ft. to its existing store at Paul Bunyan Mall in Bemidji. Due for completion by next spring, the project will bring Kmart's size to 95,205 sq. ft. and the center's size to 285,166 sq. ft. JCPenney and Herbergers are the center's additional anchors.

Missouri * Renovation was recently completed on Central Plaza Shopping Center in Ballwin. Owned by an affiliate of St. Louis-based Pace Properties Inc., the 180,000 sq. ft. center received a new facade and parking lot surfacing. The center is anchored by Walgreens, T J Maxx, Bed Bath & Beyond, and Borders Books & Music.

* ORIX Sansone L.L.C., a joint venture between Chicago-based ORIX Real Estate Equities Inc. and St. Louis-based Sansone Group Inc., broke ground this year on Promenade at Brentwood, a 299,000 sq. ft. power center in Brentwood. The center will be anchored by Target, HomePlace and PetsMart. The first occupancy is slated for March 1998.

Additionally, Baltimore-based Prime Retail Inc. has signed a "memo of understanding" with Sansone to develop a 700,000 sq. ft. value retail/entertainment center in Eureka. The enclosed mall will feature outlet stores, big-box retailers, and entertainment and restaurant venues. It is projected to open in early 1999.

* St. Louis-based Midland Group is developing Dietrich Meadows Shopping Center, a 77,625 sq. ft. project to open this fall. The center is anchored by Designer Shoe Warehouse, Computer City, Party City and Hollywood Video.

* Indianapolis-based Simon DeBartolo Group Inc. plans to renovate and expand Independence Center, a 903,805 sq. ft. superregional center in Independence. Anchored by Dillard's, The Jones Store Co. and Sears, the center will receive a new food court in addition to an updated tenant mix. Project dates are undisclosed.

* Developers Diversified Realty Corp., Moreland Hills, Ohio, has completed renovation of Fenton Plaza, a 100,548 sq. ft. center in Fenton. (Fenton Plaza is featured as Shopping Center World's Renovation Case Study in this issue.)

Ohio * Bloomfield Hills, Mich.-based The Taubman Realty Group recently opened The Mall at Tuttle Crossing, a 980,000 sq. ft. superregional center in Columbus. Anchored by Marshall Fields, Lazarus, JCPenney and Sears, the center comprises more than 120 retailers, services and restaurants. It is managed by The Taubman Co., Bloomfield Hills.

* Cleveland-based JND Properties Inc. is repositioning 180,000 sq. ft. Hillsdale Shopping Center in Canton. The center will be remodeled, and planned tenant turnover will result in 20,000 sq. ft. to 30,000 sq. ft. of space for an additional anchor and smaller shops. Current anchors include Acme Foods (which is converting to a Fresh Market concept), Litehouse Pools, Goodwill and National Bedrooms. The project is scheduled for completion next year.

* In partnership with RG Properties, Dayton, Ohio, St. Louis-based Midland Group is developing Colerain Square in Cincinnati. The 275,000 sq. ft. center, due for completion in October 1998,will be anchored by Target and Lowe's. Last November, Midland opened Windmiller Square in Pickerington. The 125,457 sq. ft. center is anchored by Kroger and Sears Hardware.

* Columbus, Ohio-based Glimcher Realty Trust is developing phase I of Meadowview Square, a 151,000 sq. ft. center in Kent/Ravenna. Wal-Mart opened earlier this year, and smaller shop spaces are due to open by year's end. In Newark/Heath, Glimcher is expanding 421,153 sq. ft. Indian Mound Mall. A 92,000 sq. ft. Sears and 6,000 sq. ft. of specialty shop space are due to open this month. In addition, the center's current six-screen theater is expanding to 11 screens, due for completion before 1998. Indian Mound Mall is anchored by Elder-Beerman, Hills, Lazarus and JCPenney, in addition to Sears.

* Developers Diversified Realty Corp. (DDR), Moreland Hills, Ohio, will break ground this year on Uptown Solon, a 210,000 sq. ft. center in Solon. Scheduled for completion in fall 1998, the center will be anchored by HomePlace.

In North Olmsted, DDR is expanding The Plaza at Great Northern, bringing the center's size to 597,497 sq. ft. The project adds HomePlace (49,733 sq. ft.) to the center's current anchors: Best Buy, Regal Cinemas, Marshalls, CompUSA, PetsMart, Kids "R" Us and Marc's Discount. It is scheduled for completion this month.

Cinemark Theatre is joining the tenant roster at DDR's Macedonia Commons in Macedonia. Due for completion next spring, the 53,933 sq. ft. addition will bring the center's size to 387,642 sq. ft. Macedonia Commons is anchored by Wal-Mart, Kohl's, Finast Supermarket and Koenig Sporting Goods.

* Oberer Holdings II Ltd., Dayton, is expanding Centerville Place in Centerville. By the end of this year, up to 40,000 sq. ft. will be added to the 325,000 sq. ft. center. Anchors include Kroger, Elder Beerman and Rite Aid.

Oberer Development Co., also of Dayton, is developing Shoppes at Valle Greene North as part of a mixed-use development in Fairborn. The 288,000 sq. ft. center, scheduled for completion in spring 1999, will be anchored by Kroger. Both projects are managed by Gold Key Realty, Dayton.

* Southland Stores Co., Cleveland, is renovating Southland Shopping Center in Middleburg Heights. The $4 million project, due for completion in fall 1998, will include a complete remodeling, and an expanded blend of national and local retailers. At 880,000 sq. ft., Southland Shopping Center features Sears, Burlington Coat Factory, T J Maxx, Dick's Sporting Goods, Old Navy Clothing Co., Rini Rego Marketplace, Marc's and Family Toy Warehouse. The center is managed by Cleveland-based Visconsi Cos. Ltd.

* The Learwood Square Co., Avon Lake, Ohio, is expanding and renovating Learwood Square Shopping Center in Avon Lake. Currently totaling 105,000 sq. ft. of GLA, the center is getting a fourth outparcel building (9,000 sq. ft.), which is scheduled for completion this fall. New tenants for the addition include Bruegger's Bagels, Pizza Hut and Arabica Coffeehouse. The property is managed by JND Properties Inc., Cleveland.

* Indianapolis-based Simon DeBartolo Group Inc. is expanding and renovating Southern Park Mall in Youngstown. In addition to a boost in GLA, improvements include new fountains, ceiling treatments, skylights and floor coverings. At 1.2 million sq. ft., the superregional center is anchored by Dillard's, JCPenney, Kaufmann's and Sears. The expansion will be completed this November.

* The Georgetown Co., New York, along with Miami-based Steiner + Associates, will break ground this year on Easton Town Center in Columbus. In addition to residential and hotel/conference components, the 560,000 sq. ft., mixed-use project will comprise: specialty retail (125,000 sq. ft.), destination retail (70,000 sq. ft.), restaurants (60,000 sq. ft.) and entertainment (100,000 sq. ft.). It is due for completion by spring 1999.

Wisconsin * General Growth Properties Inc., Chicago, is expanding and renovating Fox River Mall in Appleton. In addition to a 35,000 sq. ft. expansion to the food court, the center is receiving updated interior lighting and finishings. The food court expansion is due for completion this November, and remaining renovations will be completed by next February. Meas-uring more than 1.2 million sq. ft., Fox River Mall is anchored by Dayton's, Younkers, JCPenney, Target and Sears (which added 30,000 sq. ft. to its store in May).

In Eau Claire, General Growth is expanding 869,031 sq. ft. Oakwood Mall, where a 23,000 sq. ft. theater complex is scheduled to open next month. The center is anchored by Dayton's, JCPenney, Target, Sears and Scheel's All Sport.

* Indianapolis-based Simon DeBartolo Group Inc. has begun renovation of Forest Mall, a 481,581 sq. ft. regional center in Fond du Lac. The project includes a new floor, ceiling and skylights, as well as entrance and common area upgrades. The center is anchored by JCPenney, Kohl's, Sears and Younkers. Project completion is set for May 1998.