New developments

Houston — The Fort Bend County suburbs will be home to Sugar Land Town Square, a mixed-use project that will serve as the area's de facto downtown and offer consumers 200,000 sq. ft. of upscale retail space. Developed by locally based Sugarland Properties Inc., the project will also comprise 750,000 sq. ft. of Class A office space, nearly 300 mid-rise residential units and a 300-room Marriott hotel and conference center. Houston-based Ambrose, McEnany and House will serve as architects for the project. Construction begins later this year. The opening of Phase I is scheduled for spring 2003.

University Heights, Ohio — Spring 2003 is the completion date for Kaufmann's on the Heights, a 611,500-sq.-ft. vertical power center under construction in suburban Cleveland. Providence, R.I.-based Starwood Wasserman LLC is developing the property, which will include a 165,000-sq.-ft., as-yet-unnamed general merchandise retailer; a 58,000-sq.-ft. Tops Supermarket; and a new, two-level Kaufmann's department store.

San Diego — The city of San Diego is partnering with locally based LandGrant Development USA and LandGrant de Mexico to develop the International Gateway of the Americas — a 1.4 million-sq.-ft. project on the world's busiest land border crossing. The project is moving forward in two main phases of construction and operation. Phase I includes a 655,000-sq.-ft., open-air shopping center tenanted by the likes of Nike, Nautica, Liz Claiborne, Gap, Banana Republic, Old Navy and Tommy Hilfiger.

Phase II, subject to approval from the U.S. government, involves the development of a landmark pedestrian suspension bridge crossing over the Tijuana River into Mexico. The bridge will be adjacent to the retail center and will neighbor a cultural center, office towers and a transport station. Phase I, which the development team is saying will score annual sales of $200 million, will be completed in November of this year.

Durham, N.C. — Chicago-based Urban Retail Properties is developing the 1.3 million-sq.-ft. The Streets at Southpoint. Scheduled for a March 2002 grand opening, the center boasts the state's first Nordstrom. Other anchors include Hecht's, Belk, Sears and JCPenney. In addition to a two-level enclosed mall, the center features 130 specialty retailers and an outdoor entertainment area with a multi-screen cinema and restaurants.

Mt. Prospect, Ill. — Randhurst Crossing, a 17,700-sq.-ft. specialty center, will be completed this month. Developed by Highland Park, Ill.-based James Kaplan Cos., the center will be tenanted by Starbucks, Verizon Cellular Communications, Quizno's Classic Subs and The Bedding Experts.

Rancho Mirage, Calif. — The River in Rancho Mirage, a 245,000-sq.-ft. retail and entertainment center being developed by Los Angeles-based J.H. Snyder, is set for a fall 2001 opening. The project is built around a 1.5-acre river winding through 40,000 sq. ft. of restaurants — including P.F. Chang's China Bistro and Fleming's Steakhouse — and 100,000 sq. ft. of specialty tenants including Borders Books & Music, Bang & Olufson and Bath & Body Works. A 12-screen multiplex is also in the works. Designed by Venice, Calif.-based The Jerde Partnership International, The River in Rancho Mirage's architecture will reflect the surrounding Coachella Valley desert.

Brevard County, Fla. — St. Petersburg, Fla.-based The Sembler Co. is developing two Publix-anchored neighborhood strip centers in the area. July 2001 is the targeted completion date for Publix at Cocoa Commons, a 74,700-sq.-ft. center anchored by a 51,000-sq.-ft. Publix. Publix at Bayside Lakes, a 65,000-sq.-ft. center within the 583-acre Bayside Lakes planned community, will open next month.

Chicago — Five national retailers — Gap, J. Crew, Victoria's Secret, Banana Republic and California Pizza Kitchen — signed leases at the $50 million North Avenue Collection, a new office/retail project in the Lincoln Park neighborhood. Expected to open in first quarter 2002, the project features 70,000 sq. ft. of office space and 130,000 sq. ft. of retail. North Avenue Collection is a development of locally based Centrum Properties and New York-based Angelo Gordon and Co.

Major tenant happenings

Fairfax, Va. — Fair Lakes Center is making way for a new anchor this month — a 133,000-sq.-ft. Target. Locally based developer The Peterson Cos. commissioned contractor L.F. Jennings to renovate and expand the 1 million-sq.-ft. center's former Hechinger anchor store. The project calls for the total demolition of the previous interior space, renovation of the interior and expansion to the new square footage. L.F. Jennings will also construct the new façade and signage for the Target store.

Waikoloa, Hawaii — Louis Vuitton opened its sixth Hawaiian location last month. The luxury goods retailer selected 3,000 sq. ft. of space at King's Shops — locally based Waikoloa Land Co.'s 75,000-sq.-ft. entertainment center. King's Shops is located in the Waikoloa Beach Resort on the Kohala Coast.

Expansions

Columbus, Ohio — The city's 95-acre Arena District is gaining a 650,000-sq.-ft. mixed-use cinema complex. Locally based Nationwide Realty Investors is developing and financing the seven-building, $125 million project, which will feature tenants such as Gordon Biersch Brewery Restaurant, O'Shaugnessy's Public House and the first movie theater to open its doors downtown in more than 70 years. The district, which includes 200,000 sq. ft. of retail and entertainment, 1.3 million sq. ft. of office space and 300 residential units, surrounds the city's new Nationwide Arena — home to NHL team the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Bellevue, Wash. — The Corner at Bellevue Square is a new, 110,000-sq.-ft. expansion to locally based developer Kemper Freeman Jr.'s Bellevue Square. The recently opened addition, which brings Bellevue Square's total GLA to 1.3 million sq. ft., includes tenants such as a 35,000-sq.-ft. Crate & Barrel, a P.F. Chang's China Bistro and a Starbucks. The Corner's most distinguishing feature is a three-level atrium public space designed to represent a Northwest lodge. Seattle-based Sclater Partners served as architect for the project, while Baugh Construction handled general contracting duties.

Redevelopments

Philadelphia — Locally based Thomas Properties Group is partnering with multifamily housing specialist Philadelphia Management to convert an 80-year-old former manufacturing facility into 168 luxury loft apartments and 20,000 sq. ft. of ground-level retail. The eight-level building, which languished after formal wear manufacturer After Six vacated it in the late 1980s, is located in the Center City district. A specialty food store, a coffee bar and other convenience retail is planned for the building's retail space. The $25 million conversion is currently underway.