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MAPLE GROVE, MN-Opus Northwest has sold the first phase Arbor Lakes, a 466,000-sf shopping center to Kimco Realty Corp., a New York-basedREIT. The Minnetonka, MN-based Opus, which began the Arbor Lakes development in 1999, combined large format national retailers with smaller local and regional retailers to create the city’s Downtown Maple Grove.

The community’s new city hall and the site of a future Maple Grove Library are also located on Main Street not far from the Arbor Lakes project. The center, which sits on 30 acres that are included in the sale, is 100% leased by more than 50 retail stores and restaurants including national retailers such as Best Buy and Babies R Us, an upscale supermarket called Byerly’s, and well-known restaurants such as Houlihans, Bucca, Ground Round, The Olive Garden, Red Lobster and Timberlodge Steakhouse.

Neither Kimco, the nation’s largest owner of neighborhood and community shopping centers, nor Opus would disclose the purchase price, but the property has an estimated market value of $26 million, according to county property tax records.

In a related development, Opus also announced the groundbreaking of two additional Arbor lakes Main Street buildings totaling 43,000 sf. This next phase of Arbor Lakes — not part of the sale to Kimco — is 70% pre-leased and will include tenants such as Ann Taylor, CJ Banks, Christopher & Banks, Quizno’s, Great Harvest Bread, and Claddagh, a 6,000-sf Irish pub. This second phase is expected to be ready in the spring of next year. Welsh Cos., a largecommercial real estate company based in Eden Prairie, MN, is Opus’ leasing agent on the project.

Opus also said it is continuing to work on plans for an additional 400,000-sf lifestyle center right next to Arbor Lakes and company officials plan to make an announcement concerning this property in January. One major retailer who has been looking closely at building a full-scale department store there is Von Maur, the Iowa-based retailer who recently opened its first Twin Cities store in Eden Prairie Mall.

Kimco, which also owns the Ridgedale Festival Center in the Twin Cities market, owns and operates about 70 million sf of shopping center space in more than 500 properties in the US.

Opus Northwest, L.L.C., is an affiliate of the Opus Group of Cos., a Minnetonka, MN-based design, construction and development firm with extensive experience in the development of office, industrial, institutional and retail facilities throughout the US. Since it was founded in 1953, the corporation has successfully completed more than 2,000 commercial development projects in more than 30 states.

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