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Developer: Planned mall development is coming

Triple Five Nevada hosted an open house on Monday at the Centennial Hills Community Center in order to share information with neighbors about the planned mall development at Grand Montecito Parkway and Deer Springs Way.

The message from the developer was clear: this mall is coming.

Vertical construction originally was scheduled to begin in the fall of this year. While offsite work on surrounding roadways and utility work has kept construction crews busy on the site for months, the lack of vertical movement combined with the struggling economy contributed to many Centennial Hills residents doubting the project would ever take off.

But after seeing a model of the mall at the community center and listening to Triple Five vice president of planning James Grindstaff answer some questions, most of those who visited the open house left excited about the commercial center’s potential.

“We’re really looking forward to having it open,” Clinton Arnett, who lives about five minutes away, said. “This is the first time we’ve seen this model. It’s a relief to see that it’s still on track and still alive.”

“And it looks like they’re going to bring in some big anchors,” Arnett’s wife, Diane, said.

Indeed, if the first question about the mall is “When will it open?” — Grindstaff said the project could keep its late 2010 opening date if construction is moving by June — then the second is surely “What stores will be there?”

The only business with a finalized lease at the 900,000-square-foot retail center is Regal Cinemas. Grindstaff said he has about 145 letters of interest from retailers, and the mall only has about 160 spaces available.

He said about 35 of those letters of interest came recently from retailers previously interested in General Growth Properties’ Summerlin Centre project, which has been delayed indefinitely. Speculation among those who attended the meeting was that big names like Macy’s and Nordstrom would make an exodus from Summerlin Centre to the northwest project.

In addition to other typical mall-use retailers and restaurants, tenants could include a grocery store, a bookstore and an electronics store. While Triple Five is moving forward with the project, many details could still be altered, including the mall’s multiple building layout, its residential component and its name.

Originally dubbed the Great Mall of Las Vegas, the project has been referred to as the Streets of Montecito for the past few months. “This is not a one-off deal. We’ve still got 60 acres of the Grand Canyon and Flamingo center we haven’t finished, so we would like to have this same concept at different locations, including some land we have in Henderson,” Grindstaff said. “We’d like to have the Streets at Seven Hills, the Streets at Grand Canyon.”

The mall, which is just a little bigger than Town Square on Las Vegas Boulevard South, includes plans for two residential towers, originally set to be condominiums. A hotel could now be part of the plans for that portion of the development, Grindstaff said.

“The more this project evolves, the more we learn about it ourselves,” he said.

Environmentally minded features of the Streets of Montecito include power-generating windmills, which received a lot of attention at the open house.

“I think the green features are the best aspect about it,” Clinton Arnett said. “I wonder why in Las Vegas we don’t do more buildings like this.” One resident of the nearby Timberlake community who didn’t want to give her name said she was concerned about the noise that might be generated by the windmills. Grindstaff said the actual windmills that will be installed are still in “an evolutionary stage” of development, but will be engineered to be quiet.

“We’re excited about it, but this is a whole different kind of element for this area,” the resident said. “Timberlake has been here for a long time, and this is the first time I’ve seen the windmills. I wonder about them.”

Contact Centennial View reporter Brock Radke at bradke@viewnews.com or 383-4629.

 

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