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ALas Vegas Miracle

A new name and a makeover have transformed The Shops in Desert Passage at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino in Las Vegas into the sleek, urbanized Miracle Mile Shops. Owned by Las Vegas-based Boulevard Invest, Miracle Mile Shops’ makeover is designed to create synergy with the massive renovation and re-branding of the Aladdin Resort & Casino into the Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino. A lineup of new retailers, along with image revampment, creates a more trendsetting, user-friendly destination that features people movers, a backlit sidewalk water feature and state-of-the-art LED video offering continuous streaming imagery.

Exterior renovations on the 475,000-sq.-ft. center are expected to be completed this month, and the interior transformation will be completed in phases throughout 2007 and 2008.

Surprise Debut

A mixed-use lifestyle and entertainment center in Surprise, Ariz., will feature the state’s debut arrival of UltraStar Cinemas, as the Vista, Calif.-based company unveils a state-of-the-art, 2,800-seat movie theater with 14 screens at the Shoppes at Surprise Pointe.

Developed by Scottsdale, Ariz.-based Glimcher Ventures Southwest (GVSW), Shoppes at Surprise Pointe will combine more than 250,000 sq. ft. of retail, restaurants and entertainment on 37 acres at Waddell and Litchfield Roads. The UltraStar debut is part one of a strategic venture between the cinema owner and GVSW, in which an Arizona rollout plan calls for an additional six movie theaters over the next three years. “This is going to be the most significant development ever to take place in the city of Surprise,” said David Glimcher, president of GVSW. “UltraStar Cinemas…offers an extraordinarily unique environment and takes a different approach to movie theaters than what we’ve seen in the Valley.”

The two-phase development of Shoppes at Surprise Pointe broke ground in May, with completion of the first phase expected in March 2008.

Relax on the Veranda

St. Lucie County, Fla., is the setting for one of the state’s most relaxing shopping environments—The Shoppes at Veranda Falls, developed by Fort Lauderdale, Fla.-based Stiles Corp. Anchored by Publix, the property has been designed with the ambience of a Southern plantation village, set off by tree-lined boulevards, wide verandas, water features, pedestrian bridges and outdoor trellis-covered seating. The 94,000-sq.-ft. retail-restaurant complex opened in May in the City of Port St. Lucie.

The Growing of an Urban Village

An existing center is taking on distinctly “urban-village” properties as new retail, and new uses, are added to the mix. The Village at Shirlington, developed by Rockville, Md.-based Federal Realty Investment Trust and located off Interstate 395 in Arlington, Va., is adding 48,000 sq. ft. of new retail, about 400 residential units, a Hilton Garden Inn and a Harris Teeter grocery store.

Johnny Rockets has recently committed to join the tenant lineup, creating a buzz in the community. “The new mix of stores and restaurants combined with the already successful project ensures the community shopping and dining needs are met,” said Ralph Ours, leasing manager for Federal Realty. Caribou Coffee, Bear Rock Cafe and Signature Theater are already open for business.