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GRAND RAPIDS, MI-Von Maur has recently signed on to anchor the $100 million Village of Orchard Hills mixed-use project here at the corner of Three Mile Road and East Beltline Avenue. The anchor will be a 120,000-square-foot store, the first Von Maur to open in western Michigan and the third in the state.

The property has been marked for development since May 2007. Along with 400,000 square feet of retail, the property will also include 156 condo units. The project, going up on 62 acres, is a joint venture of CBL & Associates, Robert B. Aikens & Associates LLC and BDR Inc., with CBL holding a 50% interest in the project.

Development officials could not be reached for comment, but apparently the venture has pushed back opening in light of the economy. When the project was revealed last year, the stores were supposed to be open in spring 2009, but now a spokesman tells GlobeSt.com that the construction won’t start until early 2010, with completion scheduled for fall 2011. Barnes & Noble, P.F. Chang’s China Bistro and Spartan Stores were talked about as tenants, but a firm current roster was not available.

Bob Larsen, CFO of Von Maur, tells GlobeSt.com that the company likes the large community and strong incomes in Grand Rapids. He says his company is one of the few today that is still expanding. “We’ve not closed any stores, we recently opened one in Dayton and another in Kansas City,” Larsen says. “We don’t anticipate any closings, we specialize in measured growth. We don’t build 20 stores a year, we average about two a year.” The Davenport, IA-based firm, which operates 23 stores in nine Midwestern states, has its two other Michigan stores in Ann Arbor and Livonia.

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