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KILDEER, IL-A 175,000-sf community shopping center at Rand and Long Grove roads in this northwest suburb of Chicago, across US Route 12 from Developers Diversified Realty Corp.’s successful Deer Park Town Center, will open 100% leased when completed later this year. Besides a location in a previously underserved market, retail trends also are contributing to the $24.7-million Shops at Kildeer’s popularity among tenants, DDR officials say.

“Our Kildeer project is fully leased with tenant openings scheduled for the fall of this year,” executive vice president Daniel B. Hurwitz said in a recent earnings conference call. “Major tenants expected to open include Bed Bath & Beyond, Circuit City, Cost Plus, Old Navy and Ulta 3.”

While the 506,000-sf Deer Park Town Center exemplifies the lifestyle center trend, smaller community centers such as Shops at Kildeer are enjoying a renaissance of sorts.

“Tenants today, because there are no new super-regional malls being built in the country today, are looking wherever they can in order to do business,” CEO and chairman Scott Wolstein said in the same conference call. “What I would’ve considered the historical snobbery of saying, ‘I want to be in a mall of one million sf that does sales of X,’ has gone by the wayside. Tenants are a lot less interested in their neighboring tenants than they are in doing volume.”

Traditional anchor retailers such as Sears, JC Penney and Federated also are exploring moves out of malls into open-air developments, Hurwitz says, partly because it is the only way to meet expansion goals. “It’s very difficult for them to find the opportunities to meet their quotas,” he explains.

The Kildeer center is one of five Developers Diversified is opening in 2001. The value of all five is $210 million, Hurwitz says.

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