Lincoln And Trademark Take Aim At Texas Retail 'Bulls-eye' A partnership of Dallas-based Lincoln Property Co. and The Trademark Cos., Fort Worth, Texas, has broken ground on Trinity Commons, a 220,000 sq. ft., upscale shopping center in Fort Worth. Construction on the project began in October, and is set for completion by the second quarter of 1998.

"This parcel represents a true 'bulls-eye' retail location for all of Fort Worth's affluent shoppers," says Robert Dozier, Lincoln Property Co.'s senior vice president and retail partner. "The immediate trade area has exploded with several luxury apartment developments, including the recently completed Bellaire Ranch and additional single family housing."

The center's design will incorporate both ranch and Spanish style accents, created with stone, clay-tile roofs and metal awnings. The design, implemented by Dallas-based architecture firm O'Brien & Associates, will incorporate existing trees as part of a quarter-acre park with outdoor seating and a sculpture. The project also will include a central courtyard surrounding a fountain at the end of the development's main drive.

According to Trademark president Terry Montesi, a unique design and location will give Trinity Commons a look and feel that bridges center categories. "Trinity Commons is really half community center and half neighborhood center," he says, citing its proximity to a neighboring regional mall.

Trinity Place will be anchored by Crown Books and a new Tom Thumb prototype market. Other confirmed tenants include Blockbuster Video, Learning Express, Sprint Spectrum, Pack N' Mail, Lester Melnick and Village Jewelers. The center also will feature sit-down restaurants Red Hot & Blue and Charleston's.

Leasing Contact: Robert Dozier, senior vice president and retail partner, Lincoln Property Co., 500 North Akard, Dallas, Texas 75201; (214) 740-3300.

New Anchor In Store For Oak Park Mall Leawood, Kan.-based Copaken, White & Blitt has begun an expansion and renovation of Oak Park Mall, a 1.2 million sq. ft. regional center in Overland Park, Kan.

The project has a number of facets. First, a 40,000 sq. ft., two-level retail concourse will be added to the center, which will serve as a connection to the center's newest anchor, a 200,000 sq. ft. Nordstrom store. Dillard's also is expanding its women's store in the center -- the department store chain has two Oak Park locations, one at each end of the center -- which will bring Dillard's' total Oak Park GLA to 430,000 sq. ft.

According to Keith Copaken, developer with Copaken, White & Blitt, both the Nordstrom and Dillard's projects are due for completion next March.

Designed by Baltimore-based RTKL Associates Inc., the center's new Nordstrom wing addition includes clerestory windows and ceilings painted in gold leaf; wood veneer paneling; and patterned glass railings with wood top rails. The new theme in the retail extension has been carried through to the rest of the center, where common area improvements include stone floors, faux gold leaf ceiling treatments and new wayfinding graphic elements.

Two parking decks are currently being added to the center, and JCPenney recently added 50,000 sq. ft. to its store, which brought its overall GLA to 210,000 sq. ft.

Leasing contact: Tom Sahlie, president, Park Properties, c/o Oak Park Mall, 11519 West 95th St., Overland Park, Kan. 66214; (913) 492-0866.

Highland Park To Experience Retail 'Renaissance' By fall 1999, Highland Park, Ill., will get a taste of pedestrian-based city life. Chicago-based Heitman Retail Properties -- partnered with Highland Park, Ill.-based Lake Shore Development Corp. -- are developing Renaissance Place, a 200,000 sq. ft. mixed-use development in downtown Highland Park, Ill. The project will include retail, office and residential components in a pedestrian-oriented setting.

The project's anchor will be Saks Fifth Avenue, which is building a 50,000 sq. ft. "Main Street" concept store to anchor the project's retail portion. The store will be a compacted, more specialized version of the company's standard 120,000 sq. ft. store, intended to allow the traditional Saks customer to shop in a more accessible downtown environment.

"A Main Street [Saks] store is a smaller, more specialized version of a full-line Saks, situated on the major shopping street of an affluent downtown area," says Philip Miller, chairman and chief executive officer of New York-based Saks Holdings Inc. "We see these stores as a way to enable our customers to have an in-town shopping experience closer to home, and that many of our customers enjoy shopping in their local community in a downtown environment."

In addition to Saks, Renaissance Place is slated to include 71,000 sq. ft. of upscale retail, two restaurants, 70,000 sq. ft. of office space, a six-screen, fine arts movie theater and 45 residential units. The project architect is St. Louis-based Suttle/ Mindlin Architects.

"Renaissance Place symbolizes the rejuvenation and resurgence of [our country's] downtowns, led by retailers seeking alternatives beyond traditional shopping malls," says Robert Perlmutter, president of Heitman Retail Properties. "The project is an opportunity to add to the vibrant atmosphere of downtown Highland Park."

Highland Park mayor Raymond Geraci agrees, stating that the project has met with an overwhelming amount of positive feedback from the surrounding community.

"This development has been carefully created with the needs and history of Highland Park in mind," says Geraci. "The existing businesses will benefit from the additional traffic, and the residents will benefit from the high-quality shopping choices."

The development is set to break ground next spring, with an estimated completion date of fall 1999.

Leasing contact: Todd Star, senior vice president and regional leasing director and Karen Land, senior vice president and regional leasing director, Heitman Retail Properties, 180 N. LaSalle St., Chicago, Ill. 60601-2886; (312) 855-5700.

Jim Wilson Set To Open Louisiana's Next Superregional In Baton Rouge The southeastern United States is inching closer to its next sprawling retail development. Next month, Montgomery, Ala.-based Jim Wilson & Associates Inc. will christen Mall of Louisiana, a 1.3 million sq. ft., upscale regional center in Baton Rouge, La.

The project will be anchored by Dillard's, JCPenney, Maison-Blanche, McRae's and Sears, spread out over two levels. The center also will feature a 600-seat food court, three restaurants and more than 100 specialty shops.

According to company chairman Jim Wilson, the project's successful leasing program serves as a litmus test for the center's future success. "It's an extraordinary accomplishment to be [nearly] fully leased this far in advance, which demonstrates the excitement this project is generating in the industry," he says.

Wilson also notes that the center will be tenanted by many retailers that are marking their entry into the Baton Rouge market, including Brookstone, Aveda, Ritz Camera, Garden Botanika, Johnston & Murphy, and Pacific Sunwear.

"Premium stores such as AnnTaylor, Abercrombie & Fitch, Banana Republic, and Laura Ashley [also are entering] the area for the first time," he says.

Leasing contact: David Wills, leasing representative, Jim Wilson & Associates, 4121 Charmichael Rd., Montgomery, Ala. 36103; (334) 260-2500.