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ORLANDO-Boston-based the Wilder Cos. has broken ground on Loop West, a 400,000-sf retail center on a 47-acre parcel of land fronting Osceola Parkway and Thacker Avenue. Loop West is an expansion of the Loop, a 440,000-sf retail center which opened in May 2005.

The combined project cost for the Loop and Loop West is $200 million, the Wilder Cos. principal Andy LaGrega tells GlobeSt.com. “When we completed the Loop, we just couldn’t accommodate all the tenants,” LaGrega says.

Belk, which will open a 96,000-sf store, and JC Penney, which will open a 103,000-sf store in October, will be anchor tenants for Loop West. Tenant openings, aside from JC Penney, are scheduled for spring 2008. Space rents for $20 to $50 per sf. The Wilder Cos is in negotiations with several potential tenants and expects to sign leases within the next few weeks, LaGrega says.

“The stores in Loop West will cater to a more mature shopper,” he says. “This is a great complement to the Loop which caters to a younger audience.”

The Wilder Cos. originally developed the Loop concept in Methuen, MA. Other Loop projects include the Loop-Northborough, MA, a development consisting of retail, restaurant and office space in excess of one million sf, with a planned 2008 opening. The Loop-Punta Gorda, FL will be a $250-million mixed-use development that will contain 1.2 million sf of retail, 500 residential units, 100,000 sf of office space and a 200-room hotel. Groundbreaking is anticipated in late 2008 with a projected opening of fall 2009.

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