New center still awaits three anchors

Nearly 30 new stores have opened at Town Square Las Vegas since the 1.5 million-square-foot regional lifestyle center held its grand opening in November, though three anchor tenants are still 45 days to two months away from opening, an executive for the developer said Tuesday.

Robb & Stucky, a home furnishings store, is scheduled to open in early February and a Borders bookstore is coming soon, but industry sources said Whole Foods Market may be having second thoughts about opening a 65,000-square-foot store at Town Square.

Joe Tagliola, president of retail development for Aventura, Fla.-based Turnberry Associates, said all of the anchor tenants have executed leases and are obligated to open stores.

Whole Foods was supposed to open in February, but Tagliola said that opening was almost certainly going to be delayed.

“We’re going through discussions to make it easier for them to open,” he said. “We’re meeting with them to go through the timing and costs.”

Whole Foods has four stores in the Las Vegas Valley, including the anchor store for The District at Green Valley Ranch Resort.

Whole Foods spokesman Shawn Glasser said the Austin, Texas-based corporation has no comment about the Town Square store. A Review-Journal caller said the manager had been recalled, but Glasser said Whole Foods has not hired any personnel for that store.

With stores near the master-planned Summerlin and Green Valley communities, Whole Foods targets a higher-income demographic that puts a premium on quality over price, retail broker Zack Hussein of CB Richard Ellis said.

“Town Square is pretty big. If it was The District and Whole Foods pulled out, it would have a bigger impact,” he said. “Town Square doesn’t have the best demographics, but it has a good location. Whole Foods being there or not being there won’t make a difference.”

Hussein said Town Square already has “phenomenal” anchors with the 18-seat Rave Motion Pictures, Robb & Stucky, Borders and a 25,000-square-foot H&M apparel store.

“Town Square offers more than just shopping. It has dining, entertainment, a good collection of restaurants. It’s a destination center,” Hussein said. “We need a project like Town Square because the Vegas population is more mature and sophisticated.”

Tagliola said he remains bullish on the $750 million development and is encouraged by the early feedback.

Yard House restaurant is opening Feb. 8 and Tommy Bahama’s Tropical Café and Emporium will follow on Feb. 13.

The Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce has been delayed in moving into its 25,000-square-foot office at Town Square.

“The construction project got a little off schedule,” public relations director Cara Roberts said. “It’s progressing and we should be relocated by this spring.”

Contact reporter Hubble Smith at hsmith@reviewjournal.com or (702) 383-0491.

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