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Ann Taylor to open, Williams-Sonoma to expand at Garden City Center

Cranston, R.I. -- The Wilder Cos. announced that Garden City Center has detailed a multi-phased strategy to expand, reconfigure and redevelop the historic shopping center.

Construction of a new 20,000-sq.-ft. building will begin an extension that will eventually turn former large-format retail space into a mix of mid-size and smaller specialty stores. Later phases include construction of several new restaurant spaces and improved traffic and pedestrian links to the Whole Foods Market section of the center.

“For many years, we’ve had a waiting list of retailers that wanted to open stores at Garden City Center, but we simply didn’t have the appropriate space to accommodate them,” said Thomas V. Wilder, a principal of The Wilder Cos., management company of Garden City Center. “Now we can, while continuing to offer our unique mix of local, regional and national retailers.”

The multimillion dollar project will employ a sophisticated contemporary design leveraging Garden City Center’s New England village concept and utilizing the traditional New England elements and materials already found throughout the center, Wilder explained. 

Phase I extends Garden City’s “Village” to the south with the addition of the new 20,000-sq.-ft. building, housed by two national retailers. At the same time, the Garden City gazebo will be transformed from the end-cap of the Village into the new focal point for the center. Construction is anticipated to break ground in late spring with delivery of the space to retailers in late 2012.

Phase II will see the conversion of previously occupied large-format stores, located in the area that is now called the Commons, into smaller 3,000 to 10,000 sq. ft. stores and restaurants. It is anticipated the Phase II construction will be complete by early 2013. Further phases will include the addition of new restaurants and redesigned connections to the Whole Foods Market section of the center.

Ann Taylor will open its second store in Rhode Island in July 2012. Gourmet cookware and home furnishing retailer Williams-Sonoma has committed to expanding its presence at Garden City Center and will build a brand new store in the space currently housed by Eddie Bauer.  The existing Williams-Sonoma will accommodate a new, specialty sportswear retailer. Additionally, several other Garden City center mainstays have entered into new, multi-year leases and will be performing major interior and exterior store renovations, including: Mel & Me, Starbucks, Providence Diamond Co., Hallmark and Yankee Candle.

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