REAL ESTATE

Million-sq.-ft. project destined for rock quarry in Maine

BY Al Urbanski

Stone from an old quarry outside of Portland, Me., has doubtless found its way into many a mall parking lot. But soon retail will be springing up on the former site of the Pike Industries asphalt operation.

Waterstone Properties has affixed a name to the million-sq.-ft. mixed use project it will build at the quarry and announced its first retail tenant. Market Basket Supermarket plans to open shop at the Rock Row development sometime next summer.

“With Market Basket’s opening at Rock Row, we are one step closer to turning the site of the old quarry into a new gateway for the community,” said Josh Levy, co-founder and principal at Waterstone Properties.

The city council of Westbrook, wherein the property resides, granted Rock Row a tax increment financing agreement, which will provide a financing vehicle for the equivalent of $12 million in public infrastructure costs. Fifty percent of the tax generated at Rock Row over a 25-year period will go to the city in an effort to spur economic growth.

At full build-out, the 100-acre project will include 450,000-sq. ft. of retail space, including a brewery and a food hall, plus more than a million sq. ft. of commercial, residential, and hospitality. Also in the works is a 100,000-sq.-ft. medical and wellness campus.

“This project is transformative for the entire region,” said Lynn Tillotson, president of Visit Portland.

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PREIT adds Forever 21 at three malls

BY Al Urbanski

CEO Joe Coradino’s mission to raise the average sales per square foot at PREIT malls to $500 got a boost with the signing of Forever 21 locations at three more of its malls.

The company stated its re-merchandising initiative had advanced with the fast-fashion chain’s decision to open new locations at Magnolia Mall in Florence, S.C., Mall at Prince George’s in Hyattsville, Md. and Plymouth Meeting Mall in Plymouth Meeting, Pa.

Additionally, Forever 21 signed a deal to double its space at PREIT’s Capital City Mall in Harrisburg, Pa., to 14,000 sq. ft.

“We’re focused on differentiating tenancy with an array of concepts and the addition of Forever 21 at these three properties will…drive increased traffic and sales,” Coradino said.

PREIT announced last month that the rolling 12-month sales per sq. ft. average across its portfolio stood at $483.

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Liberty Center, three years later

BY Al Urbanski

At 1.3 million-sq.-ft., it was one of the largest mixed-use centers to come online in 2015. Developers Steiner + Associates and Bucksbaum Retail Properties envisioned Liberty Center as the first of a new generation of town center-style projects. Their plan was to merge breakthrough design and immersive engagement with captivating event programming to create a sense of place in the suburbs north of Cincinnati.

Liberty Center’s tenant roster includes a CinéBistro theater with six “dine-in” theaters, a 200,000-sq.-ft. Dillard’s department store, an 80,000-sq.-ft. Dick’s Sporting Goods, and a 150-key AC Liberty by Marriott. Specialty retailers include national and regional names like Victoria’s Secret, Gap, Hollister, Forever 21, Eddie Bauer, and Kendra Scott. Liberty’s long list of dining options features Northstar Café, Rodizio Grill, Cheesecake Factory, Pies and Pints, and a marketplace-first Kona Grill.

Steiner executives said the original vision for Liberty Center has played out in that, like any town, it has continued to evolve organically — and most important, locally. In the last 12 to 18 months, Liberty has added a lineup of prominent local women’s fashion retailers such as Rose & Remington, Burlap & Birch, and Serella. It has also stretched the boundaries of the average small town with the recent addition of iFly — an indoor skydiving experience.
Liberty Center has become a natural landing spot for community events, Steiner reports. Taste of Liberty, featuring restaurant tenants at the center, and StartupCincy Pop Up Market, highlighting local entrepreneurs, have taken hold at the town center as have farmer’s markets, free concerts, and movies in the park.

“As brick-and-mortar retailers struggle to adapt to digital competitors and fast-changing consumer preferences, innovative use of design and signage, artistry and activation, and continuing commitment to serving as a true community center, demonstrates that there is another way forward,” observed Anne Mastin, executive VP of leasing for Steiner + Associates.

 

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