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BLOOMFIELD TOWNSHIP, MI-A committee may finally issue site plan approval Oct. 3 for the controversial Bloomfield Park project, which straddles wealthy Bloomfield and destitute Pontiac, though plans for more than a thousand condos have been scaled back to 60, for now. The plan includes 550,000 sf of retail and 150,000 sf of office space, including a movie theater. A joint venture of the locally based Harbor Cos., Cleveland-based Developers Diversified Realty Corp. and New York City-based investment firm Coventry Real Estate Advisors is building the project, which in the first phase will consist of 550,000 sf of retail, 150,000 sf of office and 60 condos, with parking for 3,500 cars.

The committee is basically a moderating panel, made up of officials from the two communities that straddle the bulk of the project. The group met Wednesday, and agreed to postpone any site plan approval until it hears about a road plan from the venture. “We’re very, very close,” Craig Schubiner, president of Harbor, tells GlobeSt.com. “There’s just a handful of open items. The Michigan Department of Transportation has issued its approval, but Bloomfield and Pontiac have not had a chance to review it. Rather than settle for conditional approval, we wanted to reconvene the committee to get a clean final approval.”

Contrary to some reports, Schubiner says the company has been under construction on the project for some time. “All the former homes there are gone, it’s all been cleared and graded, and we’ve got the streets all staked and pads ready for foundations,” he says. No buildings have been started, he says.Schubiner says about 50 of the roughly 75 stores have been arranged, though the venture has only released the names of about 20. These stores include include Aeropostale, Ann Taylor Loft, Banana Republic, Bath & Body Works, BCBG, BCBG Girls, Bebe, Chico’s, Coldwater Creek, Coldwater Creek Spa, H&M, J. Jill, Lucky Brand Jeans, Sephora, Soma, Victoria’s Secret and White House/Black Market. The project also includes a several sit-down restaurants, including Bar Louie, Blue Point, Bravo! and Hyde Park.”We have a full fashion lineup,” Schubiner says. “We’re also having a bookstore and a theater. The theater is an Emagine.” He says he cannot name the bookstore tenant yet.

Years ago, the project was slated to have up to 1,500 condos and a hotel, with a price tag of about $1.2 billion. However, Schubiner, who arranged the land parcel purchase since 1992, says the lawsuits regarding the project pushed it to a time when condos just aren’t selling well in Michigan. “We still have the entitlements to do that many condos, we’ve just scaled it back because of the residential market. Nationwide it’s soft, too. We’re hoping that as the market rebounds we’ll put up hundreds of condos as soon as possible,” Schubiner says.

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