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SCOTTSDALE, AZ-First-to-market retailers LTJ Arthur and Ed Hardy are joining J. Crew and Forever 21 as the most recent high-end retail tenants to sign leases at Scottsdale Fashion Square. The four retailers will take a combined 24,000 square feet, joining Barney’s, which has already signed for approximately 60,000 square feet, and two restaurants.

The five retailers will set up shop in the former Robinson-May space in the 1.8-million-square-foot Scottsdale Fashion Square at 7014 E. Camelback Rd. The new leases range from seven to 10 years and the stores are scheduled for a fall 2009 opening.

The department store space is undergoing a $130 million renovation and 100,000-square-foot addition by owner Macerich. Macerich senior vice president of leasing Mike Nevins tells GlobeSt.com that construction on the space began in early 2008, and is close to lease-up.

He says that after Robinson May departed Scottsdale Fashion Square two years ago, executives at Macerich sprang into action to determine how best to re-use the space. It was decided that demolishing the space and adjacent parking garage, and rebuilding it would provide an ideal method for repositioning.

“We felt that by adding great fashion retailers and a highly fashionable anchor like Barney’s, along with restaurant venues would make this a new shopping environment,” Nevins says. “We’ve been fortunate to expand on so many first and exclusive retailers to the market.” The Barney’s store, in fact, will be Arizona’s first.

Meanwhile, the Santa Monica, CA-based Macerich continues evaluating space across all of its properties, especially in these challenging times during which retailers are in contraction mode, leaving behind huge swaths of space. “We’re looking at the current retailer base and customer base, and try to match the venue and opportunity with the appropriate mix,” Nevins explains.

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