tampabay.com

Some familiar names for mall

The county has a list of 60 tenants for Shops at Wiregrass.

By CHUIN-WEI YAP
Published August 2, 2007


WESLEY CHAPEL - Since announcing in mid 2005 that JCPenney and Dillard's would be the anchors of the Shops at Wiregrass, the mall's developers have maintained a wall of secrecy about the rest of its lineup.

But now, a site plan filed at county offices by the developer's planners shows a cavalcade of 60 heavy-hitting brand names filling the mall's open-air layout.

They include a two-story Barnes & Noble bookstore, Apple Store, Victoria's Secret, J. Crew, Banana Republic, Pottery Barn and Starbucks.

The mall's development partners, Forest City Enterprises and the Goodman Co., have long said they could not name tenants before the deals are executed.

Forest City again would not confirm the lineup Wednesday, saying the developers plan to announce their lineup only at a groundbreaking ceremony in September.

"We can't confirm the deals unless they are signed," said Jim Richardson, vice president at Forest City.

But the developer's planners, Atlanta-based Cooper Carry, filed the list with Pasco County as part of a detailed "hardscape" construction plan, running into dozens of pages.

It numbered each of the mall's 12 buildings, and named tenants in each specific position, with corresponding square footage.

The group includes many Pasco firsts, including some heavily sought-after names, like the 36,000-square-foot Barnes & Noble bookstore, positioned directly across from JCPenney.

In places where Cooper Carry appeared to be still unsure on the tenancy, the space was labeled "Retail" or "Jewelry" or "Restaurant." But 60 spaces carried specific names.

Promotional brochures for the $105-million Shops at Wiregrass say it will have "more than 60 specialty stores and restaurants."

For much of the past two years, planners for the mall have left out specific names in their county filings.

The Cooper Carry plans are for what's called Phase 2A, which is the heart of the mall.

So far, JCPenney - Phase 1 - is the only store standing at the site, thanks to an earlier rezoning exercise. Phase 2A is expected to secure clearance from county planners later this month to start construction.

JCPenney and Dillard's will be the only two big box anchors for Phase 2A, Richardson said.

Subsequent phases are expected to feature a third anchor. Negotiations on the "third major" are ongoing, he said.

Developers plan to open the mall in August 2008.

Chuin-Wei Yap can be reached at 813 909-4613 or cyap@sptimes.com.