LAS VEGAS - Kierland Commons, the retail center that stretches for 38 acres along the west side of Scottsdale Road, north of Greenway Parkway, has landed a handful of formerly mall-only retailers and 30 upscale condominium dwellers.
Banana Republic, bebe, BCBG Max Azria, Coach and fashion designer Eileen Fisher’s first Arizona store are on board, said Buzz Gosnell, president of Woodbine Southwest, Kierland’s developer-owner.
The high-end stores will fill up a new section of the shopping center, under construction above the two-story underground parking garage, Gosnell said. On top of the ground-level retail, Gosnell is building 30 pricey condos, which have already been sold, he said.
The new stores are expected to open in fall, Gosnell said. He is also finalizing deals with a few other retailers for the new shop space. Gosnell expects the retail portion to be completely leased by the time construction is completed. The rest of Kierland Commons’ 330,000 square feet of store space is 100 percent leased.
The 30 condos are expected to be completed by May. A new multilevel parking garage with 400 spaces just north of the new section also is under construction. Gosnell plans to add 60 to 80 more condos on top of that structure.
But the section that will debut in the fall will finish Kierland’s retail lineup, Gosnell said. And he’s pleased with the quality of retailers that will wrap up the project. And that they opted for the open-air Main Street-style center that Woodbine Southwest pioneered.
Kierland had already attracted several retailers that typically dwell in malls, such as Talbots, Victoria’s Secret, J. Crew and Guess. “I don’t think there are typical mall tenants anymore,” Gosnell said. “For several of those (formerly mall-only) stores, we are their No. 1 (U.S. location) for sales.”
Sales at Kierland have been tracking higher than the norm, Gosnell said, and that allows Woodbine Southwest to pick and choose top retailers.
U.S. sales in stores open at least a year were 4.4 percent higher in 2003 than in 2002, said Patrice Duker, spokeswoman for the International Council of Shopping Centers.
Same-store sales year-to-date for 2004 are up 8.7 percent from the same period in 2003, she said.
At Kierland Commons, same-store sales grew 12 percent in 2003, said Michael Mathews, Kierland general manager. And year-to-date sales are up 19 percent, he said.
Woodbine Southwest is getting ready to launch a similar project at Val Vista Drive and Pecos Road in Gilbert. It will be even bigger than Kierland and have “a broader range of tenants, still high-end, but with more (child-oriented) stores,” Gosnell said.
“They have larger families, and we have to appeal to the family market,” he said.
Gosnell said that many of the Kierland retailers are asking for space in the south East Valley project.