AMES, IA-GK Development Inc., based in Barrington, IL, is moving forward on its long-awaited expansion and renovation of the 340,000-sf North Grand Mall here. The $30-million project will add a new open-air lifestyle component that will be named the Streets of North Grand.

Located in near Iowa State University’s campus, the mall services with 27,000 students and 5,800 members of staff and faculty. Anchor tenants featured at the mall, located at the intersection of Grand Avenue and 30th Street, include J.C. Penney, Younker’s and Sears.

Officials with GK Development say the company will add or reconfigure a total of 150,000 sf. The pedestrian-friendly center will include streetscaping, “high-end” architectural design, and typical lifestyle center-type tenants that currently do not have a presence in Ames.

“It’s time to refresh North Grand’s appearance,” says Dan Sullivan, senior vice president-development with GK Development. “We’ve recently received positive direction from the city and retailers, so the time is right to move forward.” The real estate company expects to unveil formal plans by the end of the year and begin construction early in 2007.

GK Development has a history of acquiring and redeveloping regional shopping centers. In December 2004, the real estate company invested $120 million to acquire four Iowa malls–North Grand; College Square Mall in Cedar Falls; Westland Mall in Burlington; and Marshall Town Center in Marshalltown.

The firm recently began a $20.5-million interior renovation of College Square Mall, which includes a Hy-Vee relocation and expansion and a proposed expansion of the Cinema Entertainment Theater. Additionally, after acquiring Grand Forks, ND’s Columbia Mall in 2004, the company began and recently completed a renovation of the property, which includes an 11,500-sf Dakota Café food court, new restrooms, a family restroom and a children’s play area.

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