KANSAS CITY, MO-Atlanta-based Cousins Properties Inc. recently bought a 68-acre parcel of property at Interstate 29 and State Highway 152, with plans to build a 680,000-sf power center called Tiffany Springs MarketCenter. Company officials say its first project in Missouri, and only project in the Midwest, is expected to cost up to $60 million.

The company said the center, to be completed by the third quarter of 2008, will have more than 50 stores and restaurants. Five of the main stores have already committed, including Target, Best Buy, The Home Depot, The Sports Authority and Ulta. The center is already 86% committed, though some tenants haven’t signed yet, a Cousins spokesman tells GlobeSt.com.

“From location to design to anchor retailers, we couldn’t ask for a better entry into the Kansas City market,” said Alex Chambers, director-central region of the company’s retail division, in a statement. Cousins owns retail centers in Atlanta; Snellville, GA; Long Beach and San Jose, CA; Chesapeake, VA; Viera, FL; and Memphis, TN; as well as office and industrial buildings mostly in the Atlanta area.

The spokesman says the area is growing, with demographics attractive to retailers. “This is one of those regions of not only high population growth, but income growth as well,” the spokesman says. He said he could not comment on projected lease rates. Asking retail rents are expected to hit an average of $14.22 per sf by the end of the year, according to a second quarter Marcus & Millichap market report.

The center will have competition from the nearby Zona Rosa urban town center at I-29 and Barry Road, featuring more than 60 retailers that include Barnes & Noble, the Gap, Bath & Body Works and Abercrombie & Fitch.

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