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PHILADELPHIA-Goldenberg Group inks a lease with Circuit City to complete Phase I leasing of a 400,000-sf portion of Whitman Square. Phase II, an additional 50,000-sf, is now being leased, according to Robert W. Freedman, SVP of development and general counsel for the Blue Bell, PA-based developer.

The $45-million redevelopment project is on the former site of the Whitman Chocolate factory, which closed in the early 1990s. It is located on 36 acres at 9701 Roosevelt Blvd. at Grant Ave. in Northeast Philly. Other tenants in Phase I are Wal-Mart, Lowe’s Petco, Chick-Fil-A, Champps, Michael’s Crafts, Eckerd Drugs and Longhorn Steakhouse. Freedman estimates that Whitman Square will add more than 1,000 permanent jobs and contribute more than $2 million a year in taxes to Philadelphia.

“In this year alone, when combined with Columbus Commons, our other project in South Philadelphia, we will have opened more than one million sf of prime retail in the city,” Freedman says.

Columbus Commons is a 600,000-sf, $55-million retail development at the former CSX rail yard near Columbus Blvd. in South Philadelphia. Portions of the 44-acre tract have been sold to Sweden-based Ikea and Lowe’s. Ikea plans a 320,000-sf store, scheduled to open in summer 2005. Lowe’s is building a 160,000-sf store, its second in the City.

Goldenberg owns and manages 3.5 million sf of space and has more than 3 million sf in development and under construction. It focuses on retail, urban renewal, community revitalization, entertainment, historical preservation and residential development.

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