The new lifestyle center at Wiregrass Ranch near Tampa will be a first step for both Forest City Enterprises and the Goodman Group. For Forest City, it's represents an initial foray into the lucrative Florida market. For Goodman, it provides entry into the lifestyle arena.

The companies are creating a 700,000-square-foot lifestyle center with four anchors, a stadium cinema and 60 specialty stores. The center will be built with a horseshoe design around a main street. “We're playing up to their strengths and they are playing up to ours,” says .John Dowd, senior vice-president of development at Goodman.

Goodman, based in West Palm Beach, has the local presence. Forest City has experience with lifestyle centers and name recognition among retailers. “We just though it was a smart move to bring in someone who does this on a daily basis,” Dowd says.

Wiregrass will stretch over 5,022 acres and include a hospital, medical center and schools. It will include 2.5 million square feet of commercial space and 16,000 homes, with completion set for 2010.

Wiregrass Ranch is located in northeast Tampa in one of the fastest-growing regions in the southeast U.S. The area is expected to have a population of 300,000 by 2008 and an average household income of almost $73,000. Goodman is also building a 230,000-square-foot Wal-Mart Supercenter and a 500,000-square foot power center adjacent to the project.