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NAPERVILLE, IL-Springbrook Prairie Pavilion, a 270,000-sf shopping center, is open for business, following the completion of the first phase of the project.

The joint development of Bond Cos., of Chicago and Los Angeles, and Hinsdale-based MDC Properties sits on a 27-acre property at the northwest corner of 75th Street and Fort Hill Drive. The shopping center, in southwest Naperville, has 96% occupancy for the 230,000-sf first phase.

“The overall retail market with the economy has been softer, but our property has exceeded the market due to its location and quality,” says Rob Bond, president of the self-named firm. “What we created there was heads and shoulders above anything ever created in this portion of Naperville. Because of that, we’ve gotten the anchors we have and created the tenant demand to be here.”

Openings of the anchors and other tenants in the center have been steady and staggered throughout the summer. Anchors Whole Foods, Cost Plus World Market and Loehmann’s have already opened, along with Buffalo Wild Wings, Noodles & Company, and Road Runner Sports. Future tenant openings include Nordstrom Rack on Sept. 25, Home Goods on Sept. 28, with Fannie May Confections, Two Bostons Pet Boutique & Gourmet Bakery, Pizza Fusion, Chase Bank, Bank of America, Relax-the-Back and Charles Ifergan opening soon after.

“We’re close to the point of filling up, but there are some older generation spaces in this market that may not have the best anchors or layouts and they may have more vacancy,” Bond says. “The marketplace overall is low-90s in terms of occupancy, but we’re outperforming the market place because of some of the amenities in the property and the energy we’ve created with the development.”

Bond says the development drew many tenants that are new to the area. “We brought tenants that weren’t here before this development,” Bond says. “These tenants are recognizing the power of Naperville. It’s an extremely strong marketplace and location where people want to live and shop. It has a great quality of life, and we tried to create a center that appeals to that.”

Bond says lease rates throughout the center range from around $30 to $42, triple net. Construction on the final 40,000 sf will begin in spring of 2009 and is expected to be completed no later than spring of 2010. Bond declined to provide exact figures on the final cost of the development, but said it came in under the $64 million he originally planned.

Bond says additionally attractive to some tenants has been the fact that the center will be the first in DuPage County to attain LEED Silver certification. Developers implemented ecofriendly features including a reflective roof, permeable pavers, and efficient HVAC systems, and used landscaping that is water-efficient and drought-resistent, Bond says. Last week, developers announced a multi-year commitment to purchase wind generated Renewable Energy Certificates to apply to 100% of the center’s expected electricity demand.

“We’re making a stand with the center to be ecofriendly,” Bond says. “Our tenants want it, and that’s one of the reasons I think we’re doing better than the marketplace. We’re putting our property where our mouth is in terms of working to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.”

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