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CityPlace in Downtown West Palm Beach won’t open its first stores and restaurants until Oct. 27, but the attraction already has caught the eye of at least one out-of-state developer reportedly interested in duplicating the themed retail project.

Cincinnati-based Madison Marquette is reportedly scouting sites and approaching property owners on buying existing Downtown buildings along Clematis and Datura Streets. Owners who have met with Madison Marquette aren’t talking. Neither is the developer.

An urban-based project or even a redevelopment would be nothing new for the Ohio firm. Madison Marquette developed Old Hyde Park Village, a 240,000-sf shopping and entertainment complex in Tampa; and manages the 310,000-sf Bell Tower Shops in Fort Myers. The management portfolio presently totals over 20 million sf of retail.

The company was formed five years ago when The Madison Realty Partnership, a developer, acquired and merged with Marquette Partners, a property management specialist. Capital Guidance Corp., an international private investment firm, is active as an equity and financing partner. Other partners in various ventures include CB Richard Ellis Investors, Simon Property Group and Donaldson, Lurfkin & Jenrette.

Acquisition of Farallon Retail Services in 1998 and Hollis & Associates last year added nine million sf to Madison Marquette’s operating portfolio, much of it in California. Both James P. Born, chairman and CEO, and James S. Bennett, president, were formerly active in real estate matters at Federated Department Stores, which may explain the firm’s Cincinnati headquarters where Federated is also based..

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