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WAYNE, NJ-Construction has officially begun on the $70-million revitalization project at the Wayne Towne Center. The project will add approximately 240,000 sf to the 510,000 sf already in place, and is scheduled for completion in fall 2009.

The project is being undertaken by New York City-based JSS Advisors LLC and Madison Realty Group. The two companies bought the site and the development rights in December 2003 and received final site plan approval earlier this year.

Current anchors Fortunoff, Old Navy, Loehmann’s and J.C. Penney will remain at the site. The project will add space for new tenants, including Dick’s Sporting Goods, which will take 70,000 sf of space; DSW Shoe Warehouse, which will be housed in 19,000 sf; as well as Ulta Cosmetics, Olive Garden and Chipotle Mexican Grill. Construction on Dick’s and DSW will begin after the first of the year in 2008. Robert K. Futterman & Associates, the leasing agents for the property, are also negotiating to add a 40,000-sf health club and spa to the site. Five restaurants, including a new TGI Friday’s to replace the building already on the site, will begin construction immediately.

“The Wayne Towne Center redevelopment will be a major contributor to the health of our local economy,” says Wayne Mayor Scott Rumana in a statement. “We are excited to see a significant improvement to our ratable base and a new destination for shopping and entertainment.”

In addition to contributing tax revenue, the project is expected to create approximately 200 construction jobs and 750 retail jobs. The new center is on 50 acres at the confluence of Interstate 80 and Routes 46 and 23. When complete, it will boast 750,000 sf of shopping and dining space.

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