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CHICAGO-General Growth Properties has about $1 billion in developments and redevelopments in its pipeline, executives said today during their Q3 earnings call. As part of that the REIT is opening eight new centers, most of them open-air, during the next three years.

Next fall General Growth is opening the 980,000-sf Pinnacle Hills Promenade, in Rogers, AR, and the 860,000-sf Otay Ranch Center, in Chula Vista, CA. The following year it will debut the Bridges at Mint Hill in North Carolina; Elk Grove (CA) Promenade and the Shops at Fallen Timbers, in Maumee, OH. In 2007 the Shops at Circle T Ranch, Westlake, TX; Summerlin Centre, in Las Vegas; and West Windsor (NJ) Town Center, are scheduled to open. And more new centers could open in 2009, executives said.

On top of the new centers, General Growth is undertaking about 20 redevelopments in its portfolio. Executives highlighted Natick Mall in Massachusetts, where the developer is adding a Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom, small-shop space and two condominium towers, and Ala Moana Center, in Honolulu, which is getting a three-story, 200,000-sf Nordstrom.

At the 14 General Growth Malls where Federated Department Stores will close units that are a result of duplication from the retailer’s recent merger with May Department Stores, there is even more opportunity for redevelopment, said John Bucksbaum, General Growth’s CEO. Those centers are successful, with average sales per-sf of $500, and the vacant stores could be replaced by big-box stores, lifestyle components, offices, residential units, or other additions, he said.

Robert Michaels, General Growth’s president and COO, said during the call that he predicts year-on-year same-store sales to rise between 3% and 3.5% during the holiday season. He also said he does not foresee many retailer bankruptcies at the beginning of next year.

During the quarter, General Growth, which owns 210 regional centers across the country, posted an FFO gain of 9.1%, to 72 cents per share. Executives are predicting an FFO of $3.16 per share for the entire year, which would represent a 14.1% increase compared to last year.

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