Friday, June 11, 2004

Crestview Hills center close to adding 6 stores

By Justin Fenton
The Cincinnati Enquirer

CRESTVIEW HILLS - Developers revamping a Northern Kentucky shopping center say they're close to adding a half-dozen stores to the $70 million project scheduled for completion in fall 2005.

The nearly vacant Crestview Mall is being transformed into a "lifestyle center'' called Crestview Hills Town Center by Jeffrey R. Anderson Real Estate, which also created Rookwood Commons in Norwood.

Anderson says it is negotiating with Casual Corner, Petite Sophisticate, Old Thyme Herbs, Bed Bath & Beyond, Pier 1 Imports and Ovation Home Theater. These retail venues would be part of a stable of other fashion stores, restaurants and a department store, the developers say.

"Right now of all the opportunities in the central core region of Cincinnati - which includes downtown and Northern Kentucky - our site is by far the most sought out by high-end fashion retailers and eateries," said Mark Fallon, director of leasing for Jeffrey R. Anderson Real Estate.

Fallon said the shopping center's target clientele is women ages 25 to 55.

In addition to the existing Dillard's department store, Banana Republic, Ann Taylor, Coldwater Creek, Starbucks, Abuelo's Mexican Food Market and Mama Fu's Noodle House have committed to the project, but not signed leases.

The Crestview Hills project is one of 150 such "lifestyle centers'' completed or on the drawing board nationwide. At the 40,000-participant International Council of Shopping Centers convention, under way in Las Vegas, open-air lifestyle centers are the main topic.

They are sprouting up in mostly affluent ZIP codes, typically the initial testing ground for retail concepts.

The most significant differences between regional malls and lifestyle centers are size and roof.

Lifestyle centers tend to have less than 400,000 square feet, compared with the 1 million square feet that most regional malls take up.

Many now are incorporating townhouses and condos, to further the concept of home, work and play in the same location.

CBS Marketwatch contributed to this story. E-mail

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