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BELLEVILLE, IL-Construction of the first phase of the Belleville Crossing retail center at the intersection of Frank Scott Parkway and Highway 15 is complete and 91% leased. The developer of this phase is St. Louis-based the Desco Group.

Phase one contains 415,000 sf of retail, including a 140,000-sf Home Depot, a 127,000-sf Target and 48,000 sf of inline retail space. The estimated cost of the 125-acre project is $90 million.

The Home Depot and Target, which are both independently owned, are now open with Target’s grand opening held on Sunday. Famous Footwear opened last week and OfficeMax is expected to open by the end of the year, says Michael Anthon, VP of retail development for Desco.

Other tenants include Hibbett Sports, PetSmart, Maurices, Keck Jewelry and Mattress Giant. The asking lease rate is between $13 per sf and $14 per sf, net, for mid-box sized retailers, and about $25 per sf net for smaller spaces, Anthon says.

The first phase also has a total of 11 out-parcels, and 50% of the space is either under contract or has letters of intent with contract negotiations underwy, says Scott Sachtleben, SVP of development and general counsel for Desco. “We simply identified an opportunity in the market,” he says. The center can accommodate an additional 200,000 sf to 250,000 sf, and it will be constructed in a total of four phases.

Desco will start the second phase based on demand, but, “based upon the absorption” of the first phase, the second phase is expected to begin next year, he says. The retail center is projected to generate $100 million in tax revenue annually when fully completed, according to Desco. Nova Group Inc. is the architect for the project. Impact Strategies Inc. is the general contractor and Kowelman Engineering Inc. is the civil engineer. Desco has a portfolio of 174 retail, office and industrial properties with a total of more than 12 million sf in 15 states.

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