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THE WOODLANDS, TX-The Woodlands Mall is planning a 150,000-sf, multi-million-dollar expansion. The space will have an open-air setting and connect to the Woodlands Waterway, a 1.25-mile river walk and transportation corridor currently under construction.

The expansion is planned for delivery in fall 2003.

The mall is owned by The Woodlands Operating Co. LP and Chicago-based General Growth Properties Inc. General Growth also manages the mall. Jill Liccioni, general manager of The Woodlands Mall tells GlobeSt.com that pre-leasing efforts for the addition have been ongoing for approximately a year with four confirmed tenants and negotiations underway for another 10.

Approximately 25% of the project is signed to restaurants, P.F. Changs, (7,000 sf); and the Cheesecake Factory, (12,000 sf); along with two retail leases to bookseller Barnes & Noble (26,600 sf); and furniture retailer Storehouse (12,000 sf).

Ann Taylor Loft, Brio Tuscan Grille, Crate & Barrel, Harold Powell, The Palm, Panera Bread- The Corner Bakery, Pottery Barn, Pottery Barn Kids, Williams-Sonoma and Z Gallerie are all in negotiations for leases at the project.

“Since its opening in 1994, The Woodlands Mall has enjoyed robust sales growth fueled by an abundance of residential construction and Fortune 500 relocations. Our shopping center addition is a natural progression of the mall’s retail evolution,” says Kirk Dotson, senior leasing representative for The Woodlands Mall in a statement.

Liccioni, however, declined to release the sales per sf for the mall, but did say sales volume is among the top four malls in Houston. The current mall features 160 retail shops in more than 1 million sf of space. The main mall underwent a renovation in 1998. Approximately 12 million visitors come to the facility annually, says Liccioni.

Baltimore-based RTKL Associates Inc. has designed the expansion, while VCC of Little Rock, AK will handle the construction. Brookfield, WI-based National Survey & Engineering is providing the mobility, parking and infrastructure consulting on the project.

“This new mall expansion is another important stage in the evolution of the master-plan for the Woodlands Waterway,” says Michael Richmond, president and CEO of The Woodlands Operating Co. LP in a press release. “Those who live and work in Town Center, along with visitors to the area will be able to ride a water taxi to this new shopping and dining destination. This helps fulfill the purpose of the Waterway as a transportation corridor and link between the office buildings, urban residential dwellings, hotels, parks, shops and entertainment centers along the Waterway.”

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