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LITTLETON, CO-General Growth Properties has unveiled plans for a 154,000-sf expansion of the Chicago-based mall owner’s Park Meadows shopping center that will create an open-air shopping and dining area. The project will blend the existing indoor retail venue with an outdoor park and a common area street where the REIT will add new stores and four new full-service restaurants to the current roster of 160 specialty retailers.

The new open-air portion of the property will redevelop a former Lord & Taylor building into an expansion that is scheduled to be completed in the spring of 2008, according to Pam Schenck, senior general manager of Park Meadows. When the May Department Store Co. closed the Lord & Taylor stores in Colorado, Schenck says, General Growth decided to transform the area into a space that would reflect the changing tastes of shoppers.

The open-air plaza will be designed to highlight Colorado’s outdoors, featuring landscape, sculpture, gathering places and water features, including a two-level fountain that nearly spans the entire length of the area. Besides General Growth Properties, the design team for the expansion includes Omni Plan, MESA Design Group and Redmond Schwartz Design.

General Growth is negotiating with new retailers, larger stores, restaurants and boutique concepts at Park Meadows, with new tenant announcements “in the process of being finalized,” the company says. The redevelopment at Park Meadows is a joint venture of General Growth with the New York State Teachers’ Retirement System and institutional investors advised by JPMorgan Asset Management.

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