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AURORA, CO-Indianapolis-based Simon Property Group Inc., has unveiled the largest rehab of its Aurora Mall in the 28 years since it opened. The changes include bringing a new 180,000-sf Dillard’s department store to the 1-million-sf mall, once given up as a dinosaur, as well as a revamped Foley’s, that will consolidate two stores into one.

Officials of Aurora, Colorado’s third-largest city and the second-largest in the Denver metro area, estimate the three-year plan to cost $100 million. Preliminary upgrades already are under way.

Planned exterior upgrades at the mall at East Alameda Avenue and Interstate 225 include:

• Enhanced mall entrances.

• A repaved parking lot.

• Improved low water use landscaping and lighting.

• A signature restaurant located off of Alameda Avenue.• New outdoor identification and directional signs.New interior features will include:

• A new 650-seat food court featuring a variety of casual dining choices, as well as indoor and outdoor patio seating.

• Modern interior design, including a new flooring and paint palette, handrails and lighting fixtures.

• Grand entrance, opening to a sky-lit center courtyard.

• Cart and kiosk festival marketplace with café-style seating at Center Court.

• Themed children’s soft play area.

• Customer soft-seating areas within each of the Department Store Courts.

Groundbreaking on the new Dillard’s store is expected to occur in the winter of 2004, with completion by the fall of 2005. “We are thrilled to be part of the new Aurora Mall,” says Dillard’s CEO William Dillard II. “We are looking forward to offering Aurora area customers the exceptional merchandise and service they have come to expect from Dillard’s.”

Foley’s announced that it’s consolidating its two mall locations into one new state-of-the-art 165,000-sf store. After undergoing a complete remodel, Foley’s new store will open in October 2004 and will be located on the west side of Aurora Mall to take full advantage of the recently completed I-255 interchange. Both of Foley’s existing stores will remain open during the construction process.

“We look forward to offering Foley’s customers a complete shopping experience with a wide array of compelling merchandise in one convenient, updated location,” says Andrew Pickman, Foley’s President and CEO. “And it’s certainly exciting for Foley’s to play such an integral part in Aurora Mall’s success and this city’s economic momentum.”

Jeff Meyer, Director of Development, Simon Property Group, adds that Aurora Mall has always been a shopping center for the community, and because of that, all plans were developed with Aurora Mall customers’ wants and needs in mind. “The city of Aurora is evolving and growing, and now Aurora Mall is evolving and growing in conjunction with the city,” he says. “This project reflects our belief that solid economic growth continues in Colorado as a whole and in Aurora in particular.”

Meyer notes that the mall’s other existing anchor tenants–JC Penney and Sears–have already undertaken major renovation efforts as part of their commitment to enhancing the shopping experience at Aurora Mall. JC Penney recently completed a significant upgrade of its 177,000-sf store, and Sears will complete the renovation of its 153,000-sf space by the fall of 2003.

Groundbreaking on Phase I of the mall’s renovation project will occur this summer, with the major interior and exterior work beginning in the fall of this year. By the fall of 2004, Phase I will be near completion, in anticipation of a grand opening prior to the holiday season. Phase II of the project, which includes the addition of Dillard’s, will be complete in late 2005.

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