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PORTLAND-The Portland Development Commission and the Portland Business Alliance are having their best year ever at the International Council of Shopping Centers convention in Las Vegas this week. Don Mazziotti, executive director of the Portland Development Commission, the city’s urban renewal agency, tells GlobeSt.com he’s been involved in 16 meetings and five or six of those will definitely result in new retailers opening in Downtown Portland by the end of 2006.Here for the third year in a row, Ashley Heichelbech, retail manager for the Portland Business Alliance, tells GlobeSt.com the first year was spent pointing out Portland on the map. This year, the conversations have been pointed and serious. “The contacts have been much more substantial,” says Heichelbech. “We’re getting down to specifics with regard to their requirements and how deals would be structured.”All of the retailers who were serious requested confidentiality with regard to their interest, so neither Heichelbech nor Mazziotti are naming names. They describe the retailers as restaurants and specialty retailers, including those in apparel, accessories and higher-end designer stores not already in the market.”They’re telling us who they are and what their specs are, how much sf they would need, what kind of floor plate they are looking for and their visibility requirements,” says Mazziotti. “One specialty restaurant that will be coming wanted to know where the highest employment density spot was, and a clothier was asking about two-story locations adjacent to parking garages.”Don’t expect a Barnes & Noble, however, says Greg Goodman, a developer and member of the PBA in Las Vegas this week to talk-up Downtown Portland. “They don’t want to compete with Powell’s,” says Goodman. Shortly thereafter, Goodman went into an impromptu meeting with a representative of the high-end retailer Burberry who was expressing interest in the Portland region.

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