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BLOOMFIELD HILLS, MI -Taubman Centers is going Vegas. The real estate investment trust plans to market its renovated Stamford (CT)Mall at this month’s International Council of Shopping Centers conference in Las Vegas.

Jim Zielinski, director of marketing for Stamford Town Center, tells GSR that the firm will unveil a new design concept for the 855,000-sf mall at the May 22 to May 25 ICSC conference, where it will pitch the idea as a lifestyle development trend to potential tenants.

“We have a number of national names we will be in discussion with at the convention,” says Zielinski. Although he declined to reveal exactly who the company is targeting in its Las Vegas marketing maneuver, Zielinski says the renovated space is expected to be filled by a variety of users, including restaurants and retail vendors.

It’s the first time Taubman has tapped into the ICSC convention to market space at its Stamford mall.

The company’s Vegas show will spotlight that new mall design concept by highlighting its plans to build an exterior streetscape which will open to the 22-year-old mall on a portion of the downtown Stamford property. Whether retailers will embrace the concept, however, still remains to be seen.

The multi-million dollar project, which calls for the demolition of a building formerly leased to Filenes and the construction of 160,000 sf of space for mixed uses, is expected to begin construction next year, with completion slated for no later than 2007.

“We view this as an opportunity to take a large building and reconfigure it to give it a lifestyle feel while still maintaining critical mass retail,” says Zielinski, noting that plans call for the construction of a grand entrance with both pedestrian and vehicular access along with a mix of storefront retail shops that will “create energy on the street.”

Zielinski said the concept will blend both the recent lifestyle development trend with a mall environment to give the property a new feeling of excitement.

“A lot of developers are leaning to streetscape presentations,” he notes. “This takes it to the next step in providing that streetscape and mall environment in one critical mass.”

The idea already has won the backing of Stamford Mayor Dannel Malloy, who has given the project his enthusiastic support, Zielinski said. Now, Taubman hopes the more than 1,000 shopping center executives attending the Las Vegas convention will show the same enthusiasm for the project.

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