Dillard’s store to open at Rayzor Ranch

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Officials unsure of whether mall location will remain in place

A Dillard’s department store will be coming to the Rayzor Ranch Town Center, RED Development LLC announced Thursday.

This is the first store the Arizona-based shopping center developer has announced for the development since the project was put on hold in 2008 because of the economic downturn. The project, including Rayzor Ranch Marketplace, was initially announced in 2006.

“Dillard’s was named in the early plans for this development,” said Kendra Hinderland, managing vice president of asset management for RED and current state director of the International Council of Shopping Centers. “Dillard’s is a major step to move this forward.”

Linda Ratliff, director of economic development for the city of Denton, said having Dillard’s as one of the anchor stores for the town center will help attract other retailers to the development.

“For RED Development, it’s really important when they’re recruiting other retailers,” she said.

The town center is planned for the south side of U.S. Highway 380 across from Rayzor Ranch Marketplace. It will be a 600,000-square-foot, open-air shopping center, with dining and entertainment.

RED Development, which took over the project in 2010, has announced that several new stores will be going into the marketplace near the Sam’s Club and Walmart already located there. Stores will include Kohl’s, Famous Footwear, Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Store and Petco, which are currently under construction and expected to open in 2013.

While the marketplace has been building up over the past couple years, the town center has remained untouched.

There is currently a Dillard’s at Golden Triangle Mall and officials with both entities weren’t immediately sure whether the retailer would operate two stores in Denton.

“We haven’t made any reference to Golden Triangle [Mall],” Julie Bull, director of investor relations for Dillard’s Inc., wrote in an e-mail Thursday. “Our announcement was limited to Rayzor [Ranch] today.”

Ratliff said, as far as she knows, the retailer is only intending to have one store in Denton.

Ian Pierce, spokesman for the mall’s managing company, Cencor Realty Services, said Dillard’s hasn’t disclosed its plans.

When Golden Triangle Mall came under new ownership a year ago, mall officials said Dillard’s wasn’t 100 percent sure if it would be staying.

Herbert Weitzman, chairman and CEO of the Weitzman Group and Cencor Realty Services, said at the time that Dillard’s was planning to see what the redevelopment would look like under the new ownership.

The majority of the mall’s interior renovations will be complete by the end of this year and exterior renovations will begin in January after the holiday shopping season.

Pierce said the mall is seeing increased sales.

“Things are really looking up for the mall,” he said. “It’s basically becoming a transformed retail project.”

He said the Denton market is growing and occupancy rates are up.

The Dillard’s planned for the Rayzor Ranch Town Center will be a 126,000-square-foot store.

Neither RED Development nor Dillard’s Inc. has released a timeline for the town center project.

“We’re really excited that they’re coming,” Hinderland said.

She said the developer expects to announce more retailers in upcoming months.

“This is largest retail development between Dallas and Oklahoma City,” Hinderland said. “I think it’s going to be a great addition to the city of Denton.”

RACHEL MEHLHAFF can be reached at 940-566-6889. Her e-mail address is rmehlhaff@dentonrc.com.


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