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CHICAGO-Poplar Creek Crossing, a 400,000-sf retail power in west-suburban Hoffman Estates, recently hit a 70% prelease benchmark resulting from five new leases totaling 91,000 sf. Poplar Creek, developed by Irving, TX-based Archon Group, sits on a 40-acre site at the southwest corner of Illinois Routes 59 and 72.

Anchored by a 124,000-sf Target, the center is located adjacent to the Prairie Stone Business Park and is scheduled to open during second quarter 2006. Expanding the tenant roster, retailers recently leasing space include: Linens ‘n Things, 28,000 sf; Michaels arts & crafts stores, 21,360 sf; Cost Plus World Market, 18,300 sf; OfficeMax, 18,000 sf; and Lane Bryant, 5,400 sf. Hoffman Estates-based Leopardo Construction broke ground on the center last week.

Lease-up of the project is progressing on schedule, says Curt Bailey, director of retail investments at the Chicago regional office of Archon Group, a subsidiary of The Goldman Sachs Group Inc. Archon’s Chicago office and Mid-America Asset Management are coordinating the leasing campaign for Poplar Creek Crossing. O’Brien & Associates is providing architectural services; The Rise Group of Chicago is the construction manager.

In a separate transaction, the 180,000-sf open-air Town Square Wheaton in west-suburban Wheaton reached 100% occupancy with the signing of two new tenants. Hampstead, MD-based Jos. A. Bank Clothiers signed a 4,600-sf lease for an end-cap space, and Track ‘n Trail, a unit of Hush Puppies Inc. and subsidiary of Rockford Michigan-based Wolverine World Wide Inc., leased 1,924 sf.

According to Northern Realty Group executive vice president Michael Shields, the center had been under pressure to occupy the remaining spaces. “This is a very successful center that, prior to our involvement, was struggling to lease two key spaces,” Shields says. He says when Northern Realty was hired for the assignment late last year, the two spaces had been vacant for months. Northern Realty’s Mable Gin, vice president, arranged both transactions. Representing Jos. A. Bank Clothiers in lease negotiations was Jason Gustaveson of Zifkin Realty & Development. Larry Whipple of LH Whipple Associates represented Hush Puppies Inc.

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