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VANCOUVER, WA-Westfield America Inc. is hedging on its expansion plans at the 887,000-sf Vancouver Mall it acquired a couple of years back.

Under the proposal submitted last November, which was granted preliminary approval by the city, 162,000 sf would be added at the west end of the mall for a new Meier & Frank store, a $50-million project that would expand the mall to more than 1 million sf. The current Meier & Frank store, which totals about 100,000 sf, would be turned into smaller shop spaces.

A couple of months ago, however, during a back and forth with the city regarding the expansion’s would-be impact on traffic, Westfield sent a fax to senior planner Jon Wagner that said it might cut the expansion down to 60,000 sf, which give Meier & Frank its 160,000 sf without opening up another 100,000 sf of retail space for which it would need to find tenants.

Wagner tells GlobeSt.com the change is unusual because most developers come in with a specific plan and stick to it. “I think that’s really what they thought they wanted to build at the time,” he says. “They really haven’t committed one way or the other.”

Chris Curry, Westfield’s development director in Los Angeles, did not immediately return calls seeking comment.

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