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PLANTATION-Izzy Ashkenazy and Jonathan Agus, the owners of Design World Center, a 150,000-sf home improvement and furnishings department store, is in the process of buying the 52-year Lord & Taylor lease here.

The space will be included in Design World Center’s full-service, one-stop home improvement and home furnishings retail store, according to a spokesperson. Design World LLC owns Design World Center. The sale of the lease is expected to close in the middle of August.

The Lord & Taylor department store, operated by May Department Stores Co. of St. Louis, MO, was planning to close August 3, creating room for Design World Center.

The center will house local stores offering home improvement and design services, home furnishings and bath and kitchen products. So far, Design World Center has signed leases with national retailers and professional design-concept retailers. Tenants that have inked deals include Furniture Gallery, Branded Furniture, Tile USA, E.L. Kitchens, Very Vertical, Vita Spa, Roma Marble & Granite, Collage of Carpet, Florida Plumbing, Florida Kitchen Appliances, Ceaser Roman Stone, Great House Design, Boca Galleries, Z Rugs, Leather Gallery and My Emotions at Home.

Earlier this year, when the transformation of the existing Fashion Mall at Plantation into the 150,000-sf design concept retail center began, more than 70% of the center had been leased. The center provides smaller merchants an opportunity to compete with big-box retailers.

With construction of Design World Center under way the center is planning a grand opening in the fall. Design World Center is located at 321 N. University Dr.

Originally, Lord & Taylor was planning to continue to lease space at the center, and the center was to have its grand opening in late spring of this year.

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