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WASHINGTON, DC-Pre-leasing activity for the 250,000-sf retail portion of Gallery Place–a $250 million, one million-sf development of retailers, office space and residential dwellings–is moving along at a rapid pace, despite the fact that the project is not scheduled for ultimate completion until the spring of 2004. Already, development team Gallery Place Associates, which consists of John Akridge Cos. and Western Development Corp., has secured 200,000 sf in lease agreements among eight retailers.

The leases, will constitute millions in rent over the next several years, as, Western Development chairman and CEO Herb Miller tells GlobeSt.com, retail space is being leased for anywhere from $30 to 80 per sf, depending on store location within the complex. “We’re at 94% occupancy, with deals out for the rest of the space,” he adds.

Taking the largest spaces are United Artists Cinema with 65,000 sf for 14-screens of state-of-the-art entertainment, and food and entertainment destination Jillian’s, which has committed to 60,000sf. Restautrant Clyde’s will take on 22,000 sf, while the Washington Sports Clubs will provide a 20,000-sf fitness facility. Occupying 10,000 sf each are the upscale Paulo’s Ristorante, athletic wear and equipment outlet City Sports, and fashion store United Colors of Benetton/Sisley. Accounting for the last 3,000 sf of the 200,000 sf already claimed is financial holding company BB&T Corp.

“Since we first started marketing our concept for Gallery Place–to create a revolutionary urban destination for living, shopping, entertainment and business–the response has been overwhelming,” Miller notes in a prepared statement. “We set out to create an anchor for the new downtown and with United Artists, Clyde’s, City Sports, Paolo’s Ristorante, Benetton/Sisley, Washington Sports and the other partners, we are confident that we will succeed in doing just that.”

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