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COUNCIL BLUFFS, IA- Dirt work has begun on Metro Crossing Shopping Center, a 550,000-sf regional retail center that’s being developed on the former Council Bluffs Airport along Interstate 29. The first phase of the project, which is being built on an 80-acre site diagonally across from the 600,000-sf Lake Manawa Power Centre, is scheduled for delivery in October 2007. The second phase will open the following fall.

Dennis Hoth, vice president of CB Richard Ellis/MEGA in Omaha, tells GlobeSt.com that Metro Crossing is well situated to serve shoppers living in western Iowa as well as those living on the far eastern edge of Omaha. Hoth, who is developing the project with Andersen Construction and Kimco Realty Corp., says that the center will be a regional destination drawing shoppers from underserved rural communities up to an hour away. The center’s location is also expected to make it a popular stop for western Iowans traveling to and from work in Omaha. “You can’t really look at this site in concentric circles,” Hoth says, referring to traditional demographic studies that focus on the population living within a three-, five- and 10-mile radius of a project.

The new center’s proximity to the 10-year-old Lake Manawa Power Centre also is expected to help drive traffic to Metro Crossing. Lake Manawa, which is anchored by Super Wal-Mart, Sam’s Club, Gordman’s, Best Buy, Home Depot, Menard’s and Toys R’ Us, also has a motel and a variety of restaurants.

This month the Council Bluffs City Council approved the final plat for Metro Crossing. Plans call for approximately 400,000 sf of national retail shops along the main thoroughfare, and a lake and water feature surrounded by restaurants. The project also includes 11 outlot locations, which will be visible from Interstate 29.

Hoth says that demand for space in Metro Crossing has been “fairly significant.” The development team plans to begin announcing tenants in the next 30 to 60 days.

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