SANTA MONICA, CA- After a major number of new center openings in 2007, the Macerich Co. will focus predominantly on expansions, executives said at its fourth-quarter conference call. Last year, the company opened the first phases of SanTan Village in Gilbert, AZ, and the Promenade at Casa Grande, AZ. This year will see additional phases in both projects, said Arthur Coppola, president and CEO.

“One reason for doing open-air projects is that it allows you to open over period of time,” Coppola said. The company also added lifestyle components to Flagstaff (AZ) Mall and Freehold (NJ) Raceway Mall, which will continue to expand this year.

Also underway are expansions and/or renovations of the Oaks in Thousand Oaks, CA, and Scottsdale (AZ) Fashion Square; and the complete overhaul of Santa Monica Place, which was closed in the past two weeks. Some new development also is taking place, including the first phase of the Marketplace at Estrella Falls, in Goodyear, AZ. The move dovetails well with what Coppola said will be a soft 2008, based on tenant predictions, “and we’re ready for a soft year.”

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