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CANNES-It’s being heralded as a shopping center boom “like never before.” Research released by Jones Lang LaSalle this morning, Day One of Mipim, reveals that 2006 and 2007 will see some 14.8 million sm of new retail space opening. The report, “Shopping Centre Development Goes From Strength to Strength,” further reveals that Spain and Italy will lead the new-development pack with some two million sm each on the way. Russia is running close behind at 1.8 million sm.

The coming pipeline will deliver quality as well as quantity, says Neville Moss, who heads JLL’s European retail research team. “New schemes are emerging all the time,” he states, “even in mature markets. Developers are scrambling for differentiation through imaginative design and architecture, innovative environmental features and tenant mix.”

This is particularly true in France and the UK, he says, where many new projects, are central to wider town center regeneration initiatives. But, while Italy might lead the pack in the number of projects on the horizon, it is the only Western European country bucking the wider town-center trend, says Moss. “Only Italy has a number of out-of-town projects planned,” he states, “because of a lack of town-center development opportunities.”

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