Two down and two to go: Taubman keeps up the pace

Bloomfield Hills, Mich.-based Taubman Centers Inc. has unveiled the second of four new shopping centers it plans to open in 2001. The Shops at Willow Bend, a two-level, 1.5 million sq. ft. shopping center, opened Aug. 3 in Plano, Texas, with more than 130 stores. Twenty more stores are under development, and all will be open by early 2002.

Neiman Marcus, Dillard's, Lord & Taylor and Foley's anchor the $200 million super-regional center. Saks Fifth Avenue will be added as an anchor in 2004. The Shops at Willow Bend will ultimately be home to more than 175 occupants.

Nearly 50 of the mall's retail stores and restaurants are new to the state. The center introduces the nation's first Armani Collezioni, as well as other fashion retailers such as Bisou-Bisou, Hugo Boss, Nicole Miller, J. Jill and Bernini. Other Texas firsts include an Apple computer store and Japanese Weekend Maternity. Two of the seven full-service restaurants are state firsts — Napa Valley Grille and Todai Seafood Buffet.

Located at the northwest corner of the Dallas North Tollway and West Park Boulevard, The Shops at Willow Bend is the first Taubman-owned center in the state of Texas.

The first mall Taubman opened this year was Dolphin Mall in Miami. International Plaza in Tampa, Fla., and The Mall at Wellington Green in Palm Beach County, Fla., will open within the next two months. In addition, the Mall at Millenia in Orlando, Fla., will make its debut in 2002.

The Mall at Stonecrest set to open in suburban Atlanta

The partnership of Toronto-based Cadillac Fairview Corp. and Cleveland-based Forest City Enterprises Inc. is counting down the days to the grand opening of The Mall at Stonecrest, a 1.3 million sq. ft., two-level shopping center under construction in east suburban Atlanta. Located in east DeKalb County at Turner Hill Road and Interstate 20, Lithonia, Ga., the mall is scheduled to open in October.

The upscale regional mall will be the first in Atlanta to open with five anchors, namely, Parisian, Dillard's, Rich's, JCPenney and Sears. Parisian, Dillard's and Rich's will be flagship stores.

At press time, 80 plus tenants were listed on the roster of The Mall at Stonecrest. Eventually, more than 120 tenants, including a MegaStar Cinemas theater, will occupy space in the $131 million center.

In related Forest City news, the developer plans to open another major mall in October. The $130 million Mall at Robinson is a 1.2 million sq. ft., two-level shopping center under construction in Pittsburgh. The regional mall is located at Parkway West and Highway 60 in Robinson Township, five minutes east of the Pittsburgh International Airport.

The Mall at Robinson will be anchored by a 199,000 sq. ft. freestanding Kaufmann's department store; a 141,000 sq. ft. Sears; a 147,000 sq. ft. JCPenney; and a 65,000 sq. ft. Dick's Sporting Goods. At press time, the space for a fifth anchor had yet to be leased, according to a Forest City Enterprises spokesperson.

The center also will include restaurants, a food court, specialty stores and other major national retailers. Six of the mall's tenants are new to the Pittsburgh area: The Buckle, EB Kids, Hollister Co., Rice & Co., Rampage and Yankee Candle.

At press time, the mall was 88% leased with more than 80 tenants. Forest City anticipates at least 90% of the mall's GLA to be leased by opening day. Upon completion, The Mall at Robinson will house more than 100 tenants.

Keds steps way up high with new retail store chain

Lexington, Mass.-based Keds Corp. has opened three of the six new retail stores scheduled to open this year. In June, the shoe manufacturer announced plans to expand its brand strategy by opening its own retail stores in major regional shopping centers. The average size of each store unit will be approximately 1,200 sq. ft.

The first two Keds stores, located at North Point Mall in Alpharetta, Ga., and Town Center at Cobb in Kennesaw, Ga., opened in June. At approximately 1,000 sq. ft., the Atlanta area stores are smaller than the average size store unit.

The third Keds store opened Aug. 1 at Pembroke Lakes Mall in Pembroke Pines, Fla. The fourth location is set to open at Broward Mall, Plantation, Fla., on Sept. 1.

The fifth Keds store is slated to open in October, concurrent with the grand opening of a new mall, Polaris Fashion Place, in Columbus, Ohio. The sixth store, which is scheduled to open Dec. 1, will be located at Coral Square Mall in Coral Springs, Fla.

According to Kevin Burke, vice president and general manager of retail stores for Keds Corp., the company plans to open between 12 and 20 additional stores in 2002. Some Keds stores will carry only women's shoes, and others will carry both women's and children's shoes.

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