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YORK, PA-In their second joint venture within seven months, Lancaster-based High Real Estate Group and Chattanooga, TN-based CBL & Associates Properties Inc. have partnered to build a shopping center in Pennsylvania. The newer of the two, York Town Center, is a 291,000-sf asset on 34 acres across from CBL’s 771,000-sf York Galleria Mall at the intersection of Mt. Zion Road and Route 30.

It has broken ground 74% leased. The anchors are a 50,000-sf Dick’s Sporting Goods, 45,000-sf Best Buy, 30,000-sf Ross Dress for Less, 28,000-sf Bed Bath & Beyond and 20,000-sf Staples. There will be an additional anchor, and 84,000 sf of small shops and outparcels, which will include such retailers and restaurants as Ulta Cosmetics, Chili’s and Longhorn Steakhouse.

Neither H. Stephen Evans, managing director of High Real Estate’s retail division, nor Mark Mancuso, SVP of CBL, would disclose either the estimated construction cost or the rental rates. The partnership’s 311,000-sf High Pointe Commons, which broke ground in Harrisburg in November, is scheduled to open later this year. York Town Center is set to open in September 2007.

This will be CBL’s fifth Pennsylvania retail asset, and, along with the Harrisburg center, it represents High Real Estate’s “significant entry into retail development,” Evans says. He tells GlobeSt.com he joined the company several years ago to establish a retail division. “Historically, the company develops office, industrial, multifamily and hotel assets. We have some retail ancillary to our corporate centers, but these are our only two major retail efforts to date. Should the right opportunity come along, we’ll do more.”

Mancuso adds, “We’re looking at other opportunities in Pennsylvania.” In addition to York Galleria Mall here, CBL has centers in Stroudsburg, Monroeville and Westmoreland, among its 127 properties in 26 states.

“One of our core strategies is to develop associated centers around our existing regional malls in order to leverage the traffic and dominant position of these malls,” says Stephen Lebovitz, CBL’s president, in a statement. “York Town Center is the latest example of the benefits of that strategy,” he adds, pointing to the 74% preleasing at the center prior to construction. He also suggests there will be future developments in partnership with High Real Estate.

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