Atlantic City-based Pier at Caesars, a joint venture development between Gordon Group Holdings and Taubman Centers, Inc., opened the first phase of its stores on June 27. When the property is completed, it will be home to 90 mid-market and high-end luxury tenants.

Silk & Stewart Development Group opened a new office in Phoenix, Ariz. Headed by David M. Jarand,, a Scottsdale resident and a senior broker, the office will focus on retail and commercial project opportunities in the local region.

Robert B. Aikens & Associates and BDR Development, Inc. received approval from the Grand Rapids (Mich.) Township Board to build the Village of Orchard Hill, a mixed-use lifestyle center. The project will include 388,000 square feet of retail space and 156 condos. Completion is scheduled for late 2007 or early 2008.

Olympia Gaming LLC will build a casino resort and spa as part of The Legends at Sparks Marina development in Sparks, Nev. The 100-acre, mixed-use project will include 800,000 square feet of retail and an entertainment component. Retail tenants at the property will include Brooks Brothers, Cantina Corona and Pin-Up Bowl.

O&S Holdings, LLC received approvals from the McKinney City Council and the McKinney Economic Development Corporation to develop a 1.1 million-square-foot mixed-use development. The project will include 450,000 square feet of upscale retail and restaurants, a 70,000-square-foot movie theater, 200,000 square feet of class A office space, a 210-room hotel and convention center and a 100,000-square-foot culinary arts facility. O&S expects to break ground in the fall of 2006.

Brooks Shopping Center, LLC hired the Macerich Company to manage, lease and redevelop its 1-million-square-foot Cross County Shopping Center in Yonkers, N.Y. Macerich will add approximately 245,375 square feet of new retail space.

Monroe Center Development kicked off the retail leasing program for its 1.2 million-square-foot mixed-use development in Hoboken, N.J. The project will feature 125,000 square feet of retail space in six buildings, in addition to 110,000 square feet of office space, 435 residential condominiums and commercial arts space.

Hopkins Real Estate Group broke ground for Vernola Marketplace, a 385,000-square-foot community shopping center on I-15 and Limonite Avenue in Riverside county, Calif. Tenants at the property will include Lowe's, Bed Bath & Beyond, Michaels, Petco, Denny's and Fashion Q. Hopkins is developing the project in a joint venture with Rockwood Capital.

Colliers International-Greater Phoenix appointed Thomas T. Woods as executive vice president of retail. Woods has 33 years of experience in commercial real estate. Woods has worked at Colliers International for 12 years.

Forest City Commercial Development appointed Vince Corno and Douglas Solomon as vice presidents. Corno formerly served as senior vice president of May Realty Inc., while Solomon has been working at Forest City for 17 years, most recently as manager of real estate for commercial development.

Knightsbridge Design + Build LLC completed construction of Winfield Town Center I, a two-story, 25,574-square-foot office/retail building in Winfield, Ill. Heidi's Brooklyn Deli and Caliendo's restaurant have already signed on.

V Land Corporation broke ground on a 14-acre retail development in Melrose Park, Ill. The project will feature such tenants as Kroger “Food for Less,” Hollywood Video, Jimmy John's and Hooters. Completion is scheduled for November 2006. In addition, V Land received final approval to develop a retail property on a 4.2-acre parcel in Glen Ellyn, Ill.

General Growth Properties, Inc. will undertake a multi-million dollar expansion at the Clackamas Town Center in Portland, Ore. The project will add 40 new stores and restaurants, new parking spaces and a 75,000-square-foot, 20-screen theater complex to the Center's existing 1.2 million square feet. The expansion is scheduled for completion in November 2007.

Hopkins Real Estate Group hired Thomas D. Lenny, a 30-year industry veteran, to source new opportunities for the firm. In the past, Lenny worked at HREG for 18 years, before leaving to join Cousins Properties' Western region retail operations.

Urban Retail Properties, Co. celebrated the opening of Branson Landing, a $420 million waterfront development on Lake Taneycomo in Branson, Mo. The project spans 1.5 miles and includes 450,000 square feet of retail, in addition to entertainment venues, marinas, residential condominiums, a new convention center and two Hilton Hotels.

John Crossman, former principal of Trammell Crow Company and head of its East Coast retail investment team in Orlando, resigned from his post to join his brother Scott at Crossman & Company, a full-service commercial real estate firm. Crossman has been with Trammell Crow for 13 years.

The Woodmont Co. launched the first phase of its 125-acre Streetsboro Commons development at the intersection of the Ohio Turnpike, Interstate 480 and State Route 14 near Cleveland, Ohio. The 395,000-square-foot retail center will feature Wal-Mart Supercenter as the anchor tenant. The project will open in the spring of 2008.

Los Angeles-based SCI Real Estate Investments appointed Phillip A. Duke as senior vice president of national acquisitions for retail properties.