"It affects everything we do," said Mandelbaum, who is alsoco-chair of ICSC's New Jersey Next Generation Chapter. "How willthings change?" he asked panelists. The general message was that itcould force developers to put more uses on-site besides retail,including entertainment and other interactive uses.

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"Our focus has been on downtowns," said Reed Cordish,third-generation VP of the Baltimore-based Cordish Co. "People canlive, work, be entertained and more. As gas becomes more of anissue, density and walkability become more important."

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Indeed, one of Cordish's major projects is located in thisseaside gaming mecca. The two-phase, 670,000-sf Atlantic CityOutlets-The Walk boasts a number of stores that "do the highestper-sf sales in their chains," Cordish said.

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"We are increasingly focused on urban development,transit-oriented development," said Richard T. Burns, a principalof the Baltimore-based Design Collective Inc., whose firm has donethe design work for a number of Cordish projects. "We will continueto see a lot more urban projects attached to mass transportation.We are also LEED certified and have been involved in sustainabilityfor some time."

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Cordish started its urban development push in earnest in the1980s - Reed's father David had a several-year stint at HUD duringthe Carter Administration and was involved in the launch of theUrban Development Action Grant (UDAG) program.

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"The company decided that the focus had to be more urbandowntown 'experience' and entertainment-based," Cordish related."We couldn't really compete with the larger suburban developers, sowe formed our own niche."

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"They're the kind of projects, destinations, where people don'tjust come on weekends," Burns said. "They're also there onweekdays. The key is to know how to 'energize' a project. The focusis not traditional retail, but entertainment-based."

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Cordish admitted that such projects often require substantialpublic/private involvement, especially if there are remediation,tax-increment financing and other public issues involved. "Therehas to be a true public-private partnership," he said, noting suchprojects as the Power Plant in Baltimore, a mixed-use conversion ofa power plant that required substantial cooperation on severallevels.

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Cordish reviewed several of his company's projects as examplestracing to the program's theme, everything from Ballpark Village inSt. Louis, near that city's new stadium, to Woodbine Live! InToronto, to the NASCAR-themed Daytona Live! in Florida. Cordish hasalso trademarked the Live! Theme, using it at severallocations.

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Indeed, next up is Philly Live!, an ambitious retail,entertainment, restaurant development proposed for Philadelphia. Ascurrently planned in concert with Comcast, it would effectivelylink the city's football and baseball stadiums and new arena, alllocated in proximity.

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"It is currently in the discussion and planning stage," Cordishsaid. "We hope to have phase one opened by 2010."

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