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HILLSBORO, OR-Continental Real Estate of Ohio wants to accomplish what Federal Realty Investment Trust gave up on earlier this year — turning 17 acres here into the Shops at Tanasbourne, a 420,000-sf mall that has been planned for the site since 1999.

John Kellogg of HSM Pacific, leasing agent for the project then and now, tells GlobeSt.com that Continental is a developer of specialty retail centers that wants to develop the mall almost exactly as Federal Realty had it approved by the City of Hillsboro, and thus will need only administrative review of the project to begin development.

“We’re talking to many of the same retailers from Federal’s days as well as some new-market-entry retailers,” says Kellogg. “There exists strong demand from tenants that currently are not represented in the area.”

The Shops at Tanasbourne site is located on the west side of Northwest Stucki Avenue near Cornell Road. Federal Realty planned to develop six-to-eight buildings situated to resemble a “Main Street” rather than the typical indoor mall or strip center. Federal Realty was looking for national retailers such as Ann Taylor, The Gap, Eddie Bauer and Williams Sonoma. Meier & Frank, which hasn’t opened a new location in more than 20 years, was planned as the anchor tenant.

Federal Realty abandoned the project in May after several market-related delays, saying it would stick to acquire existing malls rather than building new ones. It then hired Scott Fuller and Mike Horowitz of Portland-based Capital Pacific to market the property.

Continental expects to close on the acquisition of the land in the next couple of months and break ground on the project next May. If all goes as planned, the mall would open for business in the spring of 2004.

According to the International Council of Shopping Centers, regional mall development is dropping off quickly all over the country. In 1999, 13 new regional malls were completed across the nation. In 2002, less than nine are expected and in 2004, no more than six.

Continental President David Kass, however, sees an opportunity. “I think there’s probably only three or four (traditional malls) that will open this calendar year, but I think that really has opened door for this type of outdoor, lifestyle type product,” he tells GlobeSt.com. “The retailers that go into the malls are still opening stores, and now they have to look at opportunities like ours.”

Indeed, Kass tells GlobeSt.com Kellogg is negotiating LOIs and leases with “several dozen” reatilers and expects to make an announcement about some of them in the next 30 to 45 days.

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