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LAKE HAVASU CITY, AZ-A Chattanooga, TN-based developer is laying the groundwork for the Shops at Lake Havasu, a 750,000-sf lifestyle center with a 100,000-sf Dillard’s Inc., 102,000-sf J.C. Penney Corp. Inc. and 201,821-sf Wal-Mart Stores Inc. as its major anchors. Plans call for the $85-million project’s foundation to be poured in June.

The Shops at Lake Havasu’s grand opening is slated for March 2008. Located at 5601 State Hwy. 95 on 102 acres, the project is the first one in the state for Wolford Development Inc. According to project vice president Clint Wolford, the area has two things going for it. First, it’s growing due to an in-migration from the more crowded Southern California and Las Vegas areas. Plus, Lake Havasu is home to the London Bridge.

“There really isn’t anything like a lifestyle center for about 150 miles,” Wolford explains. “The closest center of this type is in Yuma, which is a drive.” He tells GlobeSt.com that, as a result, there’s been vast interest from tenants wanting to take smaller spaces in the 15,000-sf to 30,000-sf range. With letters of intent and leases in negotiation, he says the inline space is about 49% committed.

Wolford says pads for the JCPenney and Dillard’s stores will be delivered in June, with the Wal-Mart tract ready for construction a month later. “We’re currently negotiating with a theater and other mini-anchors,” he adds. “There’s a lot of interest and it’s growing.” The quoted rates range from $21 per sf to $55 per sf.

At this time, Shops at Lake Havasu is Wolford Development’s only Arizona project. But Wolford says if another opportunity comes for development, his company is willing to examine it.

Architecture Plus of Monroe, LA designed the project. Morgan Construction Co., also from Chattanooga, is the general contractor. Miller-McCoy Inc., another Chattanooga firm, is the civil engineer. Wolford Development is handling leasing in-house.

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