With strong economies and expanding populations, North Carolina and Florida dominate the market.

In recent years, the Southeast has played host to tremendous numbers of new residents and new businesses. This growth has opened up fresh opportunities for retail developers.

"The Southeast has grown about 2.5 percent faster than the nation as a whole throughout the 1990s," explains Mary Kassis, research coordinator with the Economic Forecasting Center (EFC) at Georgia State University in Atlanta.

Although she admits the gap has been closing recently, she believes it is more a matter of the rest of the nation improving rather than the Southeast slowing down.

Within the region, Georgia had been the leader in percentage economic growth in recent years due to the momentum generated by the Olympic Games. However, Kassis says North Carolina has now taken over the leadership role thanks to a surge of high-tech manufacturing.

Florida's growth has been more consistent, and the Sunshine State has remained second in economic growth. The region's other states of Alabama, South Carolina, Tennessee and Mississippi have experienced both positives and negatives that have raised and lowered their economic growth levels, but by-and-large their indicators show improvement.

Kassis says Atlanta's presence as a national and international business hub at the center of the region, along with the continued emergence of Charlotte, N.C.; Nashville, Tenn.; Jacksonville, Fla.; and Orlando, Fla. as business and population centers should maintain the Southeast's healthy economic growth into the next century.

The Peach State ripens With the Olympics over, some of the air has been let out of the Peach State's sails. The EFC reports that payroll employment growth for 1997 is expected to be only 2.0 percent, compared with the robust rate of 3.7 percent last year.

Population and income are expected to continue their rise. The state's population was estimated at 4.8 million in 1994 by the U.S. Bureau of the Census. Charlotte-based NationsBank's Economic and Financial Research Department estimates that Georgia's population will have grown 16.8 percent during the 1990s, and will continue to rise 11.3 percent from 2000 to 2010, the tenth-fastest growth rate in the country.

NationsBank figures also indicate that income levels in the state rose 30.5 percent this decade and are expected to increase 25.2 percent in the next, the eighth-fastest growth rate in the nation. Susan Taylor, an economist for NationsBank, reports Georgia's per capita personal income for 1995 was $21,700, a 24.7 percent increase over 1990 figures.

Traditionally, the Atlanta area has experienced two-thirds of Georgia's retail development, says Peter Pelt, retail partner for the Atlanta region for Charlotte-based Faison. Pelt says about 4 million sq. ft. of retail space was delivered to the market in 1996, and approximately 2.5 million sq. ft. is on tap for 1997.

Atlanta leads the nation in retail space per capita with an average of approximately 30 ft. per person, according to David Birnbrey, chief operating officer for The Shopping Center Group, Atlanta.

Currently, the city's markets are relatively tight. Atlanta-based Jamison Research Inc. reports retail vacancy in the metropolitan Atlanta market at 2.7 percent for regional malls, 6.4 percent for regional centers, 9.2 percent for community centers, and 8.3 percent for both neighborhood and strip centers.

As in 1996, the bulk of the new development is grocery-anchored neighborhood centers. "But the grocery chains have slowed expansion somewhat because they have reached a saturation point," says Pelt.

The retail drug market has undergone a lot of change in recent years due to consolidation. Five years ago, five chains fought for market share, but today, Eckerd's acquisition of Big B and the recent CVS/Revco merger has reduced the market to virtually a two-horse race.

Big-box chains are benefiting from two new malls scheduled to open in the metropolitan area in 1998 to 1999. Arbor Place in Douglasville, on Atlanta's west side, and Mall of Georgia in Gwinnett county to the northeast are sparking new power center development. Birnbrey predicts close to 1 million sq. ft. of power center development will occur around the Mall of Georgia, and 500,000 sq. ft. of power center projects are already under way around Arbor Place.

"And many of Atlanta's existing malls are also continuing to see big-box activity around them," adds Birnbrey. The expanding big-box tenants include Barnes & Noble, Bed Bath & Beyond, Wal-Mart Superstore, Lowe's, Home Depot, Target, SteinMart, Garden Ridge, T.J. Maxx, Marshalls, Goody's and Golfsmith, a 25,000 sq. ft. golf superstore.

Across the state, "national chains are definitely looking at the secondary markets," says Pelt. Many of the grocery store and big-box chains, content that they have the Atlanta market thoroughly covered, are moving out to the secondary cities of Augusta, Albany, Savannah and Columbus.

Secondary markets take first place In Tennessee, the cities of Nashville, Memphis, Chattanooga and, to a lesser extent, Knoxville, are emerging as strong national markets. This has led to the development of surrounding secondary cities and is spreading growth across the state.

The Volunteer State's population was 3.5 million in 1994, according to the Census Bureau. And in the next decade, Tennessee will rank 16th in the nation for income growth (22.3 percent growth rate) and 23rd for population growth (9.1 percent growth rate), NationsBank projects. Personal income in 1995 stood at $21,000 per capita, a 28.8 percent increase over 1990.

In Nashville, music is not the only thing sounding sweet; the economy is hitting a few high notes of its own. "Nashville is the power hub of the entire state," says Bill Vaughan, president of The Shopping Center Group of Tennessee in Nashville. "We are growing in terms of jobs and population."

Vaughan says the Nashville Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) has increased to 1.2 million people, and unemployment is 2.7 percent. Kassis says the biggest employment problem across the state is a lack of labor force. "It is holding up business growth in many Tennessee markets," she explains.

Most of the retail growth is south of the city toward the towns of Franklin, Murfreesboro and Columbia. Development also is being aided by the opening of the first leg of the Interstate 840 perimeter highway, connecting I-40 and I-24, south of Nashville. Retail vacancy in Nashville is approximately 6.5 percent, according to the local chamber of commerce.

The big retail news is the development of the Cool Springs trade area, 15 miles south of Nashville's downtown. Centered by Cool Springs Galleria mall, the area has added several power center developments and a number of freestanding locations for big-box tenants. Retailers in the area include HomePlace, Staples, Marshalls, Joanne's Fabrics Etc., Rooms-To-Go and PetsMart, reports Vaughan.

On the grocery front, Kroger is the dominant grocery chain in every market in the state, except for Chattanooga, where a number of regional grocery chains battle for market share. Publix has not entered the state as yet, Vaughan reports.

He adds that Walgreens, Eckerd and Revco/CVS are the state's market leaders in retail drugs, with Walgreens currently holding the edge.

In Memphis, retail vacancy is low, with practically no space available in high-quality projects, says Terry McEwen, president of The Poag & McEwen Group, Memphis. In addition, he points out that sites for power center development have been opened up by the new Nonconnah Parkway, linking the city of Collierville and I-240, southeast of Memphis.

Big boxes dominate the Carolinas An upswing in manufacturing and the tobacco industry (from a strong foreign demand) is improving the Carolinas' economy, says Kassis.

The North Carolina payroll employment growth is expected to increase by 3.9 percent in 1997, compared to just 2.8 percent last year. The North Carolina Department of Commerce reports 55,000 new jobs were created in 1996.

The South Carolina payroll employment growth is expected to increase 1.8 percent to 2.1 percent this year. The state added 26,000 new jobs last year, reports the South Carolina Department of Commerce.

The census bureau reported North Carolina's population at 4.7 million in 1994. NationsBank's Taylor reports the state experienced a 14.3 percent increase in population during the 1990s, and a 10.6 percent increase is predicted for the first decade of the next century. This would rank North Carolina as the 13th fastest growing state in the nation.

Taylor says the state is estimated to experience a 23.5 percent increase in income between the years 2000 and 2010. NationsBank's most recent (1995) per capita personal income figures is $21,100, up 26.3 percent increase since 1990.

Census records list South Carolina's population at 2.55 million in 1994. Taylor reports that population will increase at a rate of 10.1 percent in the next decade, ranking the state's growth rate as 15th. The state's income will increase at a rate of 23.8 percent during that period, ranking it 10th. Taylor says per capita personal income for the state was $19,000 in 1995, a 23.4 percent increase from 1990.

In North Carolina, the busiest retail market is Charlotte, says Bill Misiaveg, vice president of Carolina Holdings Inc., Greenville, S.C. Spawned by residential growth around the city, the majority of retail development is in grocery store-anchored centers, says Dick Marshall, senior vice president of development for Lat Purser & Associates, Charlotte.

North Carolina-based Food Lion is a strong grocery store player in the state, while Winn-Dixie, Harris Teeter and Hannaford Bros. are expanding. Eckerd is opening both freestanding and in-line locations in the state. Kerr Drugs also is expanding in selected markets.

Big-box tenants such as Marshalls, MJ Design, Linens 'N Things, Target, Circuit City, Waccamaw and Regal Cinemas are recent additions to the Charlotte market, says Steve Vermillion, president of Charlotte-based Crosland Retail.

Retail development also is spreading to Charlotte's suburbs. Gastonia, to the west, and Concord and Salisbury, both along Interstate 85 to the northeast, have undergone power center development and the redevelopment of existing malls.

Further north, The Triad (the tri-cities area of Greensboro, Winston-Salem and High Point), is experiencing new development activity. Last year's opening of Oak Hollow Mall in High Point has been followed by big-box development, particularly in Greensboro.

Dominic Ranelli, director of the shopping center division for Greensboro-based Steven D. Bell & Co., says the opening of several new surface streets in the Interstate 40/Wendover Avenue area of The Triad has created many more retail opportunities. Target, Kohl's, HomePlace, PetsMart, Circuit City and nine restaurants have recently opened or are under development.

The bulk of the new activity in the research triangle area of Raleigh/ Durham/Chapel Hill is in the U.S. 1 Corridor north of Raleigh. Lord & Taylor and Hecht's entered the market last year at Crabtree Valley Mall.

In South Carolina, Columbia retail development consists primarily of freestanding facilities and grocery-anchored centers. Publix, Harris Teeter, Bi-Lo and Food Lion are the state's major grocers, says David Lockwood, vice president of leasing for The Keenan Co., Columbia.

In Greenville, 10 new CVS/Revco stores are planned, and Publix and Bi-Lo also are seeking new locations, says Misiaveg. The majority of retail activity is taking place in the I-385, Woodruff Road area, east of the city.

In Spartanburg, northeast of Greenville, CBL & Associates Properties Inc., Chattanooga, Tenn., reopened the expanded Westgate Mall last year, thereby sparking new activity on the city's west side, says Misiaveg. PetsMart and OfficeMax have plans to build stores in the area.

Otherwise, the city still suffers from a lack of land in the metropolitan area that has limited most retail growth to U.S. 17. Some new sites are available along the recently completed Mark Clark Expressway; however, Marshall says growth in that area has not yet reached the point to warrant retail development.

The hot spot With fast-rising population and tourism numbers, the Sunshine State remains one of the first choices for expanding retailers. The Census Bureau estimated Florida's population at almost 13 million in 1994, almost three times larger than Georgia's or North Carolina's totals. In addition, Florida boasts the region's highest per capita personal income figure at $23,100.

Florida's future forecast is sunny. NationsBank predicts that population will increase at a rate of 15.9 percent, and income levels will increase at a rate of 29.1 percent for the next decade. Both figures are the highest in the region.

Along the state's southeast coast, Dade County remains one of the state's most under-stored markets. Retail GLA per person in Dade County is 11.7 sq. ft., compared to the national average of 19 sq. ft., says Stephen Bittel, president of Miami-based Terranova Corp.

Retail vacancy is at a five-year low of just under 7 percent. Publix and Winn-Dixie are building on the county's western fringe, while Walgreens and Eckerd dominate the drug store market in Dade.

To the north, Fort Lauderdale has retail vacancy rates approaching 16 percent, due to the closing of 23 anchor stores in the past year, reports The Sterling Cos., Palm Beach, Fla. Nevertheless, seven new centers comprising 900,000 sq. ft. are under construction, and 12 proposed sites could add another 1 million sq. ft. to the market.

In West Palm Beach, which sports the state's highest per capita income level ($33,518), vacancy numbers are down despite the loss of seven anchor stores last year. The area has more room for residential growth, and Publix, Winn-Dixie and Albertsons all are scrambling to fill the need.

According to a report from The Sterling Cos., six new shopping centers have been built in West Palm Beach since 1995. Forty percent of the space was filled by discount stores, 20 percent was filled by home improvement chains, and 20 percent was filled by grocery/drug store chains.

In Tampa Bay, on the state's southwest coast, 191,600 sq. ft. of retail construction has begun this year, most of it a result of grocery store expansion, says Jim Dunphy, retail specialist for Tampa-based Colliers Arnold. The company reports Tampa Bay's retail vacancy stands at 9.6 percent for regional malls, 12.6 percent for power centers, and 13.5 percent for neighborhood centers.

Eckerd and Walgreens are opening freestanding locations in Tampa. Retailers such as Bed Bath & Beyond, Best Buy, Old Navy Clothing Co. and Hollywood Video are recent additions to the market.

In the Sarasota-Bradenton MSA to the south, retail vacancy has dropped from 17 percent to 10 percent the last two years, says Tom Richardson, president for Sarasota-based Commercial and Industrial Properties Inc. Per capita income tops $30,000, which has prompted the recent market entry of Saks Fifth Avenue and AnnTaylor.

Residential growth is driving retail in Naples, which also boasts per capita income figures above $30,000. John Mounce, leasing associate for Colliers Arnold says the market has added three power centers in the last three years. The new tenants include Service Merchandise, Pier 1 Imports, Target, Sports Authority, Ross Dress For Less, and Bed Bath & Beyond.

In Jacksonville, retail vacancy has risen to 8 percent. This vacancy is due to 15 empty big-box spaces resulting from the exit of Pic 'N Save, Mervyn's and Lurias from the market, notes Soraya Corvington, research and marketing director for The Sterling Cos. However, retail development continues in the area.

The Sterling Cos. reports nine retail projects totaling 1.7 million sq. ft. are scheduled to open in 1998, resulting in a small increase in vacancy, but little or no impact on rents. Barnes & Noble, Discovery Zone, Home Depot, Publix, Regal Cinemas and United Artist theaters have all expanded in the market since 1995.

In the Panhandle, lower population figures result in less ambitious expansion by retailers, but growth is occurring on a smaller scale. The dominant grocery retailer in the region's markets is Winn-Dixie; however, Tallahassee (where Publix has a strong presence), is the exception, says Neil Jones, vice president of Seltzer Management Group, Panama City, Fla.

The trickle-down states As in the case of the Florida Panhandle, lower population limits the aggressiveness of expanding retailers in Alabama and Mississippi. The two states are among the most sparsely populated in the Southeast.

The Census Bureau estimated Alabama's population at 2.8 million in 1994 and Mississippi's at 935,000. In the next decade, NationsBank projects only 6.5 percent growth in Alabama and 7.5 percent in Mississippi.

In addition, the states represent the bottom two rungs on the Southeast's income ladder. NationsBank reports annual per capita income for 1995 was $15,200 in Alabama and only $12,700 in Mississippi. In the next decade, NationsBank projects a 19.9 percent increase in income in Alabama and 18.7 percent in Mississippi, ranking the two at 27th and 39th in national income growth.

Kassis says a slowdown in the textile industry has hindered Alabama's economic progress. The growth in Mississippi in the early 1990s fed by the gaming industry declined sharply last year.

Despite these setbacks, retail is growing, albeit slowly. In Birmingham, Ala., the center of retail activity is on the city's south side at I-459 and Highway 280, says Bob Lily, a developer for Atlanta-based JDN Realty.

Mobile, along the coast, also is expecting retail growth in the next few years. "Big-box chains that are not already in Mobile are looking for sites there," says Eric Snyder, senior vice president/director of corporate leasing for CBL. "It is a good, vibrant market."

In Ole Miss, new mall growth in recent years has created opportunities for peripheral growth in the central and southern part of the state, while the suburban sprawl from Memphis, Tenn., has created strong retail sites to the north. Bob Flowers, executive vice president with The Mattiace Co., Jackson, Miss., says new access roads in the Meridian market will add to the retail opportunities there.

Two Memphis suburbs, Southaven and Horn Lake (both in Mississippi), are experiencing strong residential growth, and retail has followed. Horn Lake has added a Home Depot and several grocery stores within the last 18 months, while Southaven has added Wal-Mart and a Super K-mart. More retail development is expected in both communities in the future.

Jitney Jungle and Kroger are the dominant grocery store chains in the state, says Flowers. Jitney Jungle has recently solidified its position by acquiring Delchamps, which has several stores in markets along the state's gulf coast.

As for the drugstores, Walgreens has two new freestanding stores in Jackson and plans for additional locations. K&B, Eckerd and Super D are the three other drug store chains with a significant presence in the state, says Flowers.

Outlook is positive The Southeast retail market continues to flourish, fueled by the seemingly unlimited expansion in Florida and strong economic showings by Georgia and North Carolina. South Carolina is benefiting from its position between the latter two states and is boosting its own economy with a blossoming tourism industry.

The growing reputations of Memphis and Nashville as national markets are attracting developers to Tennessee. As the hot markets become saturated, and as retailers and developers move into secondary markets, activity in Alabama and Mississippi should pick up as well.

Alabama * Construction will be completed in October 1998 on Battle House Outlet & Entertainment Complex in Mobile. According to The CMC Group, Greensboro, N.C., the center's manager, the 300,000 sq. ft, mixed-use project will include retail and entertainment components. A multi-screen theater complex, themed restaurants, a four-story atrium, an indoor park and staging area, and an integrated hotel complex will be featured. The project is owned by Mobile, Ala.-based Battle House Inc.

* A renovation is planned for Brookwood Village in Birmingham. Construction will begin in early 1998 to reface the 750,754 sq. ft., enclosed mall, which is owned by Birmingham, Ala.-based Colonial Properties Trust. The center is anchored by Rich's and McRae's.

Colonial has completed the expansion of River Oaks Center in Decatur. The center grew from 535,693 sq. ft. to 575,693 sq. ft. in August with the expansion of anchor Castner Knott. Other anchors for the center include Parisian, Sears and JCPenney.

In Montgomery, build-out continues on Montgomery Promenade North. The strip center will total 235,696 sq. ft. with the addition of 17,000 sq. ft. of small shop space and a 43,462 sq. ft. Sports Authority. Scheduled for completion this fall, the center is anchored by Home Depot, Goody's and Wing's.

* The Mitchell Co., Mobile, Ala., is building two new centers. Whispering Pines Station in Daphne is expected to open in late 1998. Anchors have not been announced for the 70,000 sq. ft. neighborhood center. An as-yet-unnamed shopping center is planned on a 20-acre site in Foley. The project will feature outlet retailers and entertainment components when it opens in 1999.

The company completed Colonial Bank Centre in Mobile this summer. The 75,000 sq. ft., mixed-use center features office and retail components and is anchored by the Colonial Bank headquarters.

The Mitchell Co. is planning renovations and expansions for Eastern Shore Shopping Center (100,000 sq. ft.) in Fairhope and Carriage Town Shopping Center (70,000 sq. ft.) in Mobile. The unanchored community centers will be renovated and remerchandised by the end of 1998.

* This fall, Montgomery, Ala.-based Jim Wilson & Associates Inc. will complete the redevelopment of Bel Air Mall in Mobile. Over the past two years, three of the center's five anchors -- Parisian, Sears and JCPenney -- were expanded and renovated, and Target was added as a fifth anchor last year. When the last phase of development (the expansion and renovation of Dillard's) is completed in November, the mall will total 2 million sq. ft.

Florida * Miami-based Aventura Commons Associates is building Aventura Commons in Aventura. The 267,000 sq. ft. shopping center will feature Target, Best Buy, PetsMart and Whole Foods when it opens in spring 1998.

* Atlanta-based Baita International Inc. is renovating Regency Plaza in Jacksonville. The two-phase renovation includes upgrading the fascia and parking lot, the addition of a sign tower, and roofline changes. A 30,000 sq. ft. OfficeMax opened in May in phase I, and T.J. Maxx will relocate to a larger space in October in phase II. Baita and Boca Raton-based Boynton Commons Corp. are building Boynton Commons, a 219,931 sq. ft. project in Boynton Beach. The power center will include Barnes & Noble, Bed Bath & Beyond, Old Navy Clothing Co., and Sports Authority when it opens in spring 1998.

* Chattanooga, Tenn.-based CBL & Associates Properties Inc. will begin construction on Sand Lake Commons in Orlando. The 600,000 sq. ft. power center will feature Wal-Mart when it opens in fall 1998.

* Columbus, Ohio-based Don M. Casto Organization is redeveloping Winter Park Mall in Winter Park. Most of the existing mall will be demolished in October. The new 500,000 sq. ft., mixed-use project will be organized on a street grid and feature retail and office components. The pedestrian-oriented Main Street will remain anchored by Dillard's. Regal Theater, Borders Books & Music, and Village Market will join the anchor roster. The project's architect is Fort Lauderdale, Fla.-based Dorsky Hodgson + Partners.

* Miami-based Courtelis Co. is building two projects. In Naples, construction is scheduled to begin next year on Floridian Town Center. Tenants have not been announced at the 300,000 sq. ft. center. In Coral Springs, a November opening is planned for Magnolia Shoppes. The 200,151 sq. ft. community center will feature a 16-screen Regal Cinema theater complex and Albertsons supermarket when it opens this summer.

* In Port St. Lucie, construction has begun on The Marketplace At Port St. Lucie, a development of West Hartford, Conn.-based Devcon Enterprises Inc. Tenants at the 155,559 sq. ft. power center will include Winn-Dixie, Wal-Mart, Dollar Tree and Mail Boxes Etc.

* Chagrin Falls, Ohio-based Developers Diversified Realty Corp. is building Oviedo Park Crossing in Oviedo. The 210,000 sq. ft. power center will feature HomePlace, OfficeMax and Ross Dress For Less when it opens in spring 1998.

* New York-based ERE Yarmouth is expanding the newly renovated Southgate Plaza in Sarasota. The 430,000 sq. ft., enclosed specialty center, which is anchored by Burdines, Dillard's and Saks Fifth Avenue, will grow to 448,000 sq. ft. this fall with the addition of 18,000 sq. ft. of small shop space. The mall's interior was renovated last year with new ceiling trusses, custom chandeliers and teak furniture.

* Orlando, Fla.-based Faison Orlando is planning to build 400 Park Avenue South, a 81,000 sq. ft., mixed-use center in downtown Winter Park. No tenants have been announced for the project, which will feature 24,500 sq. ft. of retail GLA and 56,500 sq. ft. of office space when it is complete. Groundbreaking is scheduled for fall 1998.

The company also is building three Publix-anchored centers: Halifax Village Plaza (75,000 sq. ft.) in Ormond Beach; Parkway Plaza (75,000 sq. ft.) in Orlando; and Jupiter Farms Village (80,000 sq. ft.) in Jupiter. The projects are scheduled to be completed by the beginning of next year.

Build-out continues on Bonita Bay Plaza in Bonita Beach and Waterford Lakes Village in Orlando. Bonita Bay Plaza (200,000 sq. ft.) will be anchored by Albertsons and Waterford Lakes (90,000 sq. ft.) will be anchored by Winn-Dixie when they open early next year.

* The construction of South Beach Cinema continues in Miami Beach. The 250,000 sq. ft., mixed-use development by Miami-based Finestra Development Corp. will feature entertainment and retail components. when it opens in August 1998.

* September openings are planned for two projects from Boca Raton, Fla.-based Konover & Associates South Inc. In Jupiter, Konover is building 93,000 sq. ft. Admiral's Crossing, a Winn-Dixie-anchored shopping center. In West Palm Beach, construction continues on Lake Point Centre, a 130,000 sq. ft. project that will feature Winn-Dixie and Walgreens when completed next month.

* MEPC American Properties, Dallas, is renovating and expanding Regency Square, a 1.4 million sq. ft. regional mall in Jacksonville. This spring, exterior signage, lighting, landscaping and an upgraded security system were added in phase I. During phase II, which will begin this month, an eight-screen AMC Theatre complex outside the mall will be expanded to 24 screens; the theater component inside the mall will be razed to make way for an expanded food court; JCPenney will receive a facelift; and anchor Gayfer's will grow 60,000 sq. ft. to total 180,000 sq. ft. The second phase is expected to be completed by late next year.

* This month, Minneapolis-based Madison Marquette Realty Services and New York-based Union Bank of Switzerland completed the expansion and renovation at Bell Tower Shops in Fort Meyers. The 250,000 sq. ft. mall grew to 324,000 sq. ft. with the addition of anchor Saks Fifth Avenue; retailers such as The Gap Laura Ashley, Bath & Body Works, Victoria's Secret, and AnnTaylor; and a 72,000 sq. ft. Cobb Theater complex. In addition, the interior was reconfigured on a "streetscape" grid. The redeveloped project, which also is anchored by Jacobson's, will celebrate its grand reopening this November.

* Mechanicsville, Va.-based Menin Development Cos. Inc. is redeveloping and expanding the former Shoppes Of Jupiter to create Jupiter Place. The 175,000 sq. ft. shopping center in Jupiter includes a 14-screen Cobb Theater (which is adding four screens), Beall's and Staples. The center will grow to 200,000 sq. ft. to accommodate the expanded and improved theater. The center's exterior also will receive a facelift, with improvements such as a new facade and new landscaping, entrances and canopies. The project is expected to be completed by February 1998.

In Coconut Creek, the company is planning an expansion for Marketplace At Hillsboro. The 115,000 sq. ft. shopping center, which is anchored by Winn-Dixie, will grow to 145,000 sq. ft. when construction starts next summer. No tenants have been announced for the expansion.

* The Mills Corp., Arlington, Va., is planning to expand Sawgrass Mills in Sunrise to coincide with the opening of the new Florida Panthers hockey arena across the street. The 2.3 million sq. ft. outlet mall will grow by 300,000 sq. ft. next fall with the addition of American Wilderness Experience, an interactive entertainment/ retail/dining complex that will include a petting zoo, simulation theater and interactive exhibits. The project also includes the expansion of an 18-screen Cobb Theater to 25 screens. Sawgrass Mills features Off 5th-Saks Fifth Avenue and Nine West Outlet.

* Construction continues on Miromar Outlets in the Naples/Fort Meyers area, a development of Montreal-based Miromar Development Co. The 275,000 sq. ft. phase I will open in spring 1998. The Mediterranean-style outlet and entertainment center will total 700,000 sq. ft. upon final build-out in 2000. It will feature retail and entertainment components.

* Morbitzer Group Inc., Maitland, Fla., broke ground this summer on Casselberry Exchange, a 148,000 sq. ft. center in Casselberry. Scheduled for completion in early 1998, the center will be anchored by Eckerd and Food Lion.

The company also is the leasing and management agent for Parkwood Plaza in Orlando. Originally built in the 1960s, the outdated 277,000 sq. ft. center was redeveloped and modernized with a Caribbean theme. The project opened in August.

* Atlanta-based North American Properties is building an unnamed retail center in Fort Walton Beach. The project will include a 130,000 sq. ft. Home Depot and two 10,000 sq. ft. outparcels. It is scheduled to open in early 1998.

* The Rouse Co., Columbia, Md., is building Oviedo Marketplace in Orlando. The 350,000 sq. ft., enclosed regional mall will be anchored by Dillard's and Gayfer's when it opens next spring.

* The Sembler Co., St. Petersburg, Fla., is developing four projects: -- Carrollwood Square (59,493 sq. ft.) in Tampa will be anchored by Albertsons when it opens this fall. -- River Crossings (62,388 sq. ft.) in New Port Richey and Publix At Barclay (54,112 sq. ft.) in Spring Hill will both be anchored by Publix when they open next spring. -- Providence shopping center is under construction in Brandon. Tenants Applebee's Neighborhood Bar & Grill and Eckerd opened this spring as part of phase I. The center will total 61,767 sq. ft. when final build-out is completed in spring 1998.

The company has recently completed Lakewood Plaza in Spring Hill. The 185,000 sq. ft. shopping center, which opened in April, is anchored by Publix and Target.

* Indianapolis-based Simon DeBartolo Group is renovating/expanding six shopping centers: -- Gulf View Square (807,413 sq. ft.) in Port Richey, which is anchored by Burdines, Dillard's, JCPenney, Montgomery Ward and Sears, will receive an interior renovation in spring/ summer 1998 with a new food court, flooring, ceiling treatments and additional skylights. -- Paddock Mall (568,832 sq. ft.) in Ocala, which is anchored by Belk-Lindsey, Burdines, JCPenney and Sears, also will complete a renovation project this fall, which will include a new food court. -- Melbourne Square (734,112 sq. ft.) in Melbourne, which is anchored by Belk-Lindsey, Burdines, Dillard's and JCPenney, will add a second Dillard's store as well as a 18-screen cinema complex, while undergoing a mallwide renovation program. -- Orange Park Mall (904,932 sq. ft.) in Jacksonville, which is anchored by Dillard's, Gayfer's, JCPenney and Sears, will expand to 961,932 sq. ft. this summer with the addition of a 24-screen AMC Theater complex, a new Rio Bravo restaurant and an expanded Gap. -- Palm Beach Mall (1.2 million sq. ft.) in West Palm Beach, which is anchored by Burdines, JCPenney, Lord & Taylor, and Sears, is in the final planning stages for a significant redevelopment, which will occur throughout 1998 and 1999. -- Tyrone Square (1.2 million sq. ft.) in St. Petersburg, which is anchored by Burdines, Dillard's, JCPenney and Sears, will be renovated and expanded in a two-phase project. Phase I, which is expected to be complete in April 1998, will bring the mall's GLA to 1.3 million sq. ft. with the addition of a food court, bookstore and restaurant. In phase II, which is scheduled to be completed in June 1998, the interior will be renovated with new flooring, a redesigned center court, and enhanced interior and exterior landscaping.

Simon DeBartolo also is building The Shops At Sunset Place in South Miami. When complete in September 1998, the 502,500 sq. ft. retail and entertainment complex will include NikeTown, Virgin Megastore, Barnes & Noble, IMAX Theater, and a 24-screen, AMC Theatre complex.

* Coconut Grove, Fla.-based Steiner + Associates is redeveloping The Streets Of Mayfair in Coconut Grove. The $10 million project includes the addition of an open-air plaza, festoon lighting, and outdoor cafes and balconies. The center also will be turned "inside out," reorienting many of its tenants toward the street.

A grand reopening is scheduled for this fall. The project is owned by Miami-based Lennar Mayfair L.P.

* Miami-based Taylor Development Co. is expected to break ground early next year on Brickell Commons in downtown Miami. Divaris Real Estate, Virginia Beach, Va., the center's manager and leasing agent, reports that the 350,000 sq. ft., three-level complex will feature an 83,000 sq. ft. multi-screen theater as well as retail and restaurant components. Dorsky Hodgson + Partners will serve as the project's architect.

* In February, Miami-based Terranova Corp., the leasing and construction manager of No. 1 Marketplace, completed a $6 million renovation of the center, located in the inner city of North Miami. Improvements included a new facade and new landscaping, lighting and parking. The 110,000 sq. ft. project is anchored by Winn-Dixie, Family Dollar, Payless ShoeSource and FootLocker. The project is owned by New York-based BAP Seventh Avenue Inc.

The company also is manager and leasing agent for Palm Johnson Plaza, which is undergoing renovation. The exterior of the 90,000 sq. ft. center in Pembroke Pines will receive a facelift with a new stucco finish by the end of this year. The project includes Winn-Dixie and Hair Cuttery.

* Build-out continues on Lake Buena Vista Factory Stores in Lake Buena Vista, according to the center's leasing agent, Brooksville, Fla.-based Territo & Associates Inc. The 170,000 sq. ft. outlet center, which opened last October, features Famous Footwear, Vanity Fair and Adidas. Construction will begin at the end of this year for phase III, which will bring the center to 210,000 sq. ft. when it is complete. Future expansion phases that would add 300,000 sq. ft. to the center's GLA are planned for next year.

Territo & Associates also is the leasing and management agent for Daytona Beach Factory Stores, an 80-acre site under development in Daytona Beach. Construction is scheduled to begin by fall 1998 on the mixed-use project, which will feature 350,000 sq. ft. of retail GLA as well as hotel, entertainment and restaurant components when it is complete.

* Aventura-based Turnberry Associates and Simon DeBartolo Group are expanding Aventura Mall in Aventura. The 1.2 million sq. ft. regional mall is anchored by Macy's, Lord & Taylor, JCPenney and Sears. It will grow to 2.2 million sq. ft. by early next year with the addition of a 24-screen, 80,000 sq. ft. AMC Theater complex; a 253,600 sq. ft. Bloomingdale's store; and 330,000 sq. ft. of specialty retailers and restaurants. Changes to the interior will include an indoor/outdoor promenade with landscaped plazas and fountains. Next fall, Burdines will join the anchor lineup at the site with a 225,000 sq. ft. store.

* Urban Shopping Centers Inc., Chicago, is building Citrus Park Town Center in Tampa. The 1.2 million sq. ft. superregional center will be anchored by Dillard's, Burdines, JCPenney and Sears when it opens in spring 1999.

Across the street, the company also is building Plaza At Citrus Park Town Center. Scheduled to open by fall 1998, tenants for the 450,000 sq. ft. power center have not yet been announced.

* West Shore Plaza in Tampa is being expanded and redeveloped, according to the center's leasing and management agent, The Wilder Cos. Ltd., Boston. Additions will include a new anchor, which will open in fall 1998; a 14- to 18-screen, 60,000 sq. ft. theater complex; and 135,000 sq. ft. of small store GLA, including a 600-seat food court and upscale restaurant space. An existing anchor also is planning to expand its GLA. The 900,000 sq. ft. mall, which is anchored by Burdines, Dillard's and JCPenney, will total 1.2 million sq. ft. when it opens in fall 1999.

Georgia * Atlanta-based Baita Stilesboro Partners Inc. recently competed Stilesboro Oaks in Atlanta. The 80,772 sq. ft. strip center is anchored by Kroger and Blockbuster Video.

* Chattanooga, Tenn.-based CBL & Associates Properties Inc. is building Arbor Place Mall in Douglasville. The 1.3 million sq. ft., two-level, regional mall will be anchored by Dillard's, Sears and Upton's when it opens in fall 1999.

* In August, Atlanta-based Ben Carter Properties broke ground in Buford for the Mall of Georgia at Mill Creek. When development is completed in August 1999, the 1.7 million sq. ft. mall will be anchored by Nordstrom, Lord & Taylor, Dillard's and JCPenney. The project will feature "The Village," an entertainment component featuring a 500-seat amphitheater and a 22-screen Regal Cinema theater complex. The mall is part of Mill Creek, a 500--acre, masterplanned development that will include a nature center, hotels and additional retail GLA.

* The Harold A. Dawson Co., Atlanta, has expanded and renovated the Kroger Cascade Citi-Center in Atlanta. The 77,000 sq. ft. shopping center grew to 107,000 sq. ft. in June with the addition of an 8,000 sq. ft. Hollywood Video and 22,000 sq. ft. of small retail space. In addition, the facade of the existing building was updated with red brick and green awnings.

* This spring, Atlanta-based Faison completed the exterior renovation of Merchant's Exchange in Marietta. The 127,422 sq. ft. shopping center is anchored by Harris Teeter.

* Build-out continues on Cordele Marketplace in Cordele. A development of Atlanta-based JDN Realty Corp., the shopping center will total 176,000 sq. ft. and will be anchored by Wal-Mart Supercenter when it opens this fall.

* The Lehndorff USA Cos., Dallas, is renovating Greenbriar Mall in Atlanta. The $1.5 million project includes exterior remodeling with the addition of decorative steel canopies and fabric awnings, new signage at mall entrances, and new storefronts. The facade also will be improved with stone-likefacing when the project is completed in November. The 740,000 sq. ft., one-level regional shopping center is anchored by Rich's, Burlington Coat Factory, Circuit City and Magic Johnson Theatres. Dallas-based L&B Institutional Property Managers Inc. manages the center.

* This fall, Chicago-based General Growth Properties Inc. will replace anchor Mervyn's at three shopping centers. Parisian will join Sears, JCPenney, Lord & Taylor, Rich's and Dillard's at the 1.5 million sq. ft. North Point Mall in Alpharetta; JCPenney will open at the 771,000 sq. ft. Shannon Southpark Mall in Union City, joining Macy's, Rich's and Sears; and Uptons will join Rich's at the 634,000 sq. ft. North DeKalb Mall in Decatur.

* Expansion continues on West Marietta Crossing in Marietta, according to Atlanta-based Redd Realty Services, the center's manager. A 10,000 sq. ft., two-story outparcel will be added in November to accommodate Chicago's restaurant and small shop space. The 89,546 sq. ft. development is owned by Atlanta-based Hayley-Redd L.P. In Dacula, Mountain Crossing grew from 79,296 sq. ft. to 93,196 in August with the addition of small shop space. The project is managed by Redd Realty and owned by Dacula-based Mountain Crossing Associates. Both centers are anchored by Kroger.

* Two shopping centers in Atlanta are being renovated, reports Jacksonville, Fla.-based Regency Realty Corp., the projects' manager. Work will be completed next winter on the 147,055 sq. ft. Roswell Village, while the 62,761 sq. ft. Trowbridge Crossing is expected to be completed next fall. Both centers are anchored by Publix.

* The Sembler Co., St. Petersburg, Fla., has seven projects under construction: -- Target At West Marietta (177,000 sq. ft.) in Marietta will feature Target and Hollywood Video when it opens in March 1998. -- Publix At Powder Springs (102,517 sq. ft.) in Powder Springs will be anchored by Publix when it opens next winter. -- Target At East Cobb (140,000 sq. ft.) in Marietta will include Target, Hollywood Video and Eckerd when it opens this fall. -- Anchors will be announced for Lenox Marketplace (approximately 420,000 sq. ft.) in Atlanta, which is scheduled to open early 1999. -- Robson Crossing (105,522 sq. ft.) in Gainesville will be anchored by Publix and Hollywood Video when it opens in March 1998. -- Publix At Perimeter (96,730 sq. ft.) in Atlanta will feature Publix, Hollywood Video and Eckerd drugs when it opens in April 1998. -- Butler's Crossing (92,908 sq. ft.) in Athens will include Publix, Hollywood Video and Eckerd drugs when it opens this fall.

The company also has completed Publix at Acworth (69,628 sq. ft.) in Acworth, a Publix-anchored center that opened in May, and Gwinnett Retail Center (39,000 sq. ft.) in Duluth, which opened this spring. The project includes Eckerd and Arby's.

Mississippi * October openings are planned for two projects in Meridian owned by Chattanooga, Tenn.-based CBL & Associates Properties Inc. Construction is underway for Bonita Lakes Mall, a 727,348 sq. ft. shopping center to be anchored by Dillard's, McRae's, JCPenney, Sears and Goody's Family Clothing. Adjacent to Bonita Lakes Mall, build-out continues on the 95,503 sq. ft. Bonita Lakes Crossing. The project will feature Books-A-Million when it is completed.

* General Growth Properties Inc., Chicago, manager of Northpark Mall, will complete a renovation of the center next year. Changes to the interior will include adding a food court and skylights and renovating the center court. The 959,000 sq. ft. shopping center is anchored by Dillard's, JCPenney, McRae's and Gayfer's.

* The Mitchell Co., Mobile, Ala., has recently completed construction on Pass Christian Village in Pass Christian. The 70,000 sq. ft. center is anchored by Delchamps supermarket and Revco drug store.

North Carolina * Three new shopping centers -- Wellington Park and The Arboretum, both in Cary, and Park Place in Morrisville -- will be managed by Raleigh, N.C.-based Kane Realty Corp. when they are completed. The 102,000 sq. ft. Wellington Park will be anchored by Lowe's Food and Kerr Drug when it opens this fall. The Arboretum will total 378,744 sq. ft. when it opens in spring 1999, and a 16-screen Carmike Theater complex will anchor the 200,000 sq. ft. Park Place when the project opens in late 1998.

* Construction is expected to be completed at the end of this year on Wilson Grove Village (36,600 sq. ft.) in Mint Hill and Springs Crossing (53,150 sq. ft.) in Mount Holly. Managed by Charlotte, N.C.-based Lat Purser & Associates Inc., both projects will be anchored by Food Lion and Eckerd.

* Durham, N.C.-based Northgate Associates L.P. is renovating and expanding Northgate Mall in Durham. The former Northgate Convenience Center, located adjacent to anchor Sears, will be called The Shops At Northgate when it grows 40,000 sq. ft. to total 84,590 sq. ft. to accommodate new tenants such as Boston Chicken. The center will receive new landscaping, 200 additional parking spaces and cosmetic improvements. When this project is completed next spring, Northgate Mall, which is anchored by Hudson Belk, Hecht's and Sears, will total 899,111 sq. ft.

* In July, Indianapolis-based Simon DeBartolo Group and The Mills Corp., Arlington, Va., acquired 165 acres in Concord for the planned Concord Mills. Tenants have not been announced for the 1.4 million sq. ft., superregional value and entertainment center, which is expected to open by fall 1999.

South Carolina * Atlanta-based Baita International Inc. is expanding Richland Mall in Columbia. The 807,037 sq. ft., enclosed regional mall will welcome Barnes & Noble this fall. Also, TGI Fridays was relocated and renovated in May to accommodate this new tenant. Richland Mall is anchored by Dillard's, JB White and Parisian.

* In April, the construction of Hilton Head Factory Stores 2 in Bluffton was completed. Tenants include Nike, Mikasa, Disney Catalog Outlet and The Gap. The 125,000 sq. ft. center is managed by Vienna, Va.-based Charter Oak Partners.

In Myrtle Beach, Charter Oak Partners is the developer of Myrtle Beach Factory Stores, which is being expanded. The 26,824 sq. ft. phase II opened in May with tenants such as Donna Karen, We're Entertainment and Lillian Vernon. Phase III, which will open in spring 1998, will add 80,000 sq. ft. to the center's GLA, bringing its total to 333,000 sq. ft.

* Construction will be completed next winter on Beaufort Crossing in Lady's Island, according to Jacksonville, Fla.-based Regency Realty Corp., the center's manager. The 39,888 sq. ft. shopping center will be anchored by Publix. Regency Realty also is manager of Merchants Village, which is being redeveloped in Charleston. The 79,743 sq. ft. shopping center is anchored by Publix.

* Indianapolis-based Simon DeBartolo Group is renovating Charles Towne Square in Charleston. Most of the existing 470,725 sq. ft., enclosed mall will be demolished, and the center will be rebuilt as an open-air, entertainment and retail development. The reconfigured project will include a Regal Cinema theater complex, Piccadilly Cafeteria, a Marriott Courtyard Hotel and 75,000 sq. ft. of specialty retail space. The center will continue to be anchored by Montgomery Ward (which also will be renovated) and will open in fall 1998.

The company also is planning to expand the theater component of Anderson Mall in Anderson by 55,000 sq. ft. next year. The 651,823 sq. ft. mall is anchored by Gallant-Belk, JCPenney, Sears and Upton's.

* This fall, renovation will begin on Mall 3 of Outlet Park -- Shoppes At Waccamaw in Myrtle Beach, according to Myrtle Beach-based WCI Management Group Inc. The improvements to the 750,000 sq. ft. center will include an exterior facelift and an interior renovation. The center also will be expanded next year with the addition of "The Plaza," an 80,000 sq. ft. restaurant and entertainment component, and 55,000 sq. ft. of upscale shop space.

* Aiken, S.C.-based Wyatt Development Co. Inc. is building the Shoppes At Woodruff in Greenville. The regional shopping center will total 430,000 sq. ft. and will be anchored by Wal-Mart Supercenter when it is completed in February 1998.Tennessee* Memphis, Tenn.-based Belz Enterprises is building Peabo dy Place Urban Retail and Entertainment Center in Memphis. The 250,000 sq. ft. development will be the retail and entertainment component of Peabody Place, a mixed-use project that will resemble a city within a city with retail, office, hotel and residential GLA. Peabody Place Urban Retail and Entertainment Center will feature a 24-screen Muvico Theater complex when it is completed in late 1999.

* Atlanta-based Buckley Shuler Properties completed build-out of Cool Springs Festival in Brentwood in July. The 200,000 sq. ft. shopping center features Bruno's grocery store, PetsMart, Reading China & More, Sally's Beauty, and Factory Card Outlet.

* In July, Cary, N.C.-based FAC Realty Trust Inc. completed a 32,000 sq. ft. expansion of Factory Stores of America in Crossville. The 150,785 sq. ft. shopping center is anchored by VF Factory Outlet.

* Ground will be broken this month on a 208,000 sq. ft., upscale outlet center in Lebanon. A development of Baltimore-based Prime Retail, the project will feature approximately 50 stores and a food court. A spring 1998 completion is expected.

* In March 1998, a 12-screen Regal Cinema theater complex and Funscape family entertainment complex will be added to West Town Mall in Knoxville. Owned by Indianapolis-based Simon DeBartolo Group, the 1.2 million sq. ft., superregional center is anchored by Dillard's, JCPenney, Parisian, Proffitt's and Sears.

Also in Knoxville, Simon DeBartolo is renovating East Towne Mall and renaming it Knoxville Center. The common areas and food court will be remodeled to reflect the themes of the University of Tennessee and the Great Smoky Mountains. Regal Cinema will add three theaters, and the Knoxville Convention and Visitors Bureau will open a satellite office at the site. The 984,704 sq. ft. shopping center is anchored by Dillard's, JCPenney, Proffitt's, Sears and Service Merchandise.

* Wolfchase Galleria in Memphis, a development of Chicago-based Urban Shopping Centers Inc., opened in February. Anchors of the 1.1 million sq. ft., regional shopping center include Dillard's and Goldsmith's.