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KOBE, JAPAN-Simon Property Group and joint venture partner Chelsea Japan have started work on the construction of the 200,000-sf Phase I of Kobe Sanda Premium Outlets. The project is the sixth Premium Outlet Center for the joint venture since its establishment in 1999 and is located about 22 miles north of central Kobe.

It is located strategically to serve greater Kobe and the northern sections of Osaka, among the most affluent markets in Japan. About 13 million people live within a 30-mile radius of the center.

Phase I is scheduled for completion next summer and is expected to open fully leased to approximately 80 tenants including global brands as well as domestic brands and restaurants. The center is expandable to approximately 355,000 sf of GLA.

Chelsea Japan has also obtained permits and entitlements to add a third phase to Gotemba Premium Outlets, its flagship property west of Tokyo. Phase III, comprising 100,000 sf of GLA and 50 stores, will be built partially on land currently used for parking. The new phase, expected to be completed in 2008, will comprise 500,000 sf of GLA and more than 200 stores and restaurants. The project opened in 2000 and was expanded in 2003.

“These new developments will further strengthen Chelsea Japan’s position as the leading owner/developer of upscale outlet centers in Japan,” says Leslie Chao, chairman of the joint venture.

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