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COLUMBUS, OH-Glimcher Realty Trust has revealed a new expansion plan for its 1.5-million-sf Polaris Fashion Mall here, an outdoor lifestyle center that will have about 15 to 20 new stores. The company recently purchased the former 200,000-sf Kaufmann store, made vacant after its consolidation with nearby Macy’s, and has space to build the 160,000-sf addition.

George Schmidt, executive vice president with Glimcher, says that his firm bought the space from Federated Department Stores. “We have a reciprocal easement agreement, under that agreement the department stores buy their space and build, and then agree to operate as part of that center. We were able to purchase that space, as they vacated the space to consolidate.” He said he cannot comment on the purchase price of the space

He tells GlobeSt.com that the new building will use part of the old Kaufmann structure, and will also feature two levels of stores. “It will have an outdoor entrance and concourse from that entrance to the mall,” he says. The company will break ground this summer and the development is expected to be complete by the end of 2008.

The retailers in the current mall sparked the idea for the new space, saying there is demand for additional stores, Schmidt says. He declined to discuss the average lease rate, but says the mall is 97% occupied. “Pre-leasing activity has been very strong, but we will not announce any stores until they’re signed,” Schmidt says. He would not discuss types of stores sought, but says there will be a “heavy restaurant component.”

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