The company replaced the space vacated by Victoria's Secret,which moved to 734 N. Michigan. Columbia will feature its outdoorapparel, footwear, accessories and equipment in the store, a newidea for the Portland, OR company that has traditionally sold outof other retailers. "We've got a very strong brand, and our balancesheet allows us to be a little creative in growth," said KerryBarnes, VP of retail for the sportswear company. "We have nolong-term debt, we're not dependent on outside financing for ourretail strategy. We love Michigan Avenue for its millions oftourists." The company is opening up a sixth urban store onHannepin Avenue in Minneapolis on April 9, Barnes tellsGlobeSt.com.

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He says he can't comment on the lease price, but says thecompany is paying a "middle-of-the-road" price per square foot.Marcus & Millichap is forecasting that retail asking rents willstay at below $19 per square foot for the Chicago market for thefirst half of the year, though Michigan Avenue typically commandshigher than average rates.

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