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PHONEIX-Vestar Development Co. is busy this year, as the locally based firm is in the works to either open or start construction on eight area shopping centers totaling 7.7 million sf. The total investment it is putting toward the ventures is about $1.4 billion.

Tempe (AZ) Marketplace is the largest center Vestar is working, at 1.3 million-sf. The cost of the open-air venue is $280 million, and executives expect to open the center in July.

About 3.3 million sf of projects are set to open this year, while other portions of the pipeline will stretch out into July 2009, when the 900,000-sf Canyon Trails Towne Center is opening at a cost of $107 million in Goodyear. Additionally, Vestar has two projects planned for 2008 openings.

In addition to its Phoenix-area projects, Vestar is also building two centers in Southern California: the 1.1-million-sf District at Tustin (CA) Legacy and the 600,000-sf Weston Ranch Towne Center, in Stockton, CA.

Vestar owns 15 shopping centers in Arizona and California. The firm is probably best known for the 1.2 million-sf Desert Ridge Marketplace, a retail-entertainment center in Northeast Phoneix.

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