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LOWER NAZARETH TOWNSHIP, PA-Regency Centers is planning to develop a 238,984-sf retail project here–its first ground up development in Lehigh Valley. The total development costs for the project, which is expected to break ground in the spring, have been penciled in to be $30 million, including the land acquisition costs, according to Powell Arms, Regency Centers’ VP of investments. The firm just revealed that it had recently closed on the acquisition of 32 acres in Lower Nazareth Township.

Plans call for Regency to construct the retail center at Lower Nazareth Commons shopping center. It will include a 133,000-sf Target next to an existing, non-Regency owned Wegmans supermarket. Restaurants, service and retail businesses will be among the other tenants.

Arms tells GlobeSt.com that this particular part of the commonwealth is particularly appealing to the company. “Its population growth is very strong, it has solid household incomes and it is generally underserved for retail.” He adds that he expects the project to bring new retail names to Lehigh Valley.

There are other signs that Lehigh is beginning to attract new retail investment. In Whitehall, for instance, 17 new tenants inked space in the 130,000-sf lifestyle expansion of Lehigh Valley Mall. The aggregate cost of the renovation and expansion of the mall, owned by Philadelphia-based Pennsylvania Real Estate Investment Trust owns 50% of the mall property, and Simon Property Group, was $44 million. Barnes & Noble, Williams Sonoma, Pottery Barn, Ann Taylor, Ann Taylor Loft, Sephora, Coach, White House/Black Market, Chico’s, Soma, Coldwater Creek, J. Crew, Apple and Yankee Candle are among the new tenants.

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