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Two hundred seventy-six acres of land ready for mall construction

In Michigan, and other states across the nation, the recession not only affected people but businesses as well. Many struggling business owners found it difficult to keep their shops open thus adding to the bleak outlook for the market.

For many towns, even malls took huge hits, with big name retailers such as Nordstrom closing their doors for good. This was especially hard in situations where the malls hadn't even been built yet. Land that had been zoned for construction lay empty and many wondered if anything would ever be built there again.

For four years, a 276 acre strip of land in Florida lay vacant. Purchased and zoned in the 2000s, this piece of land was supposed to be the site for the most ambitious shopping hub between Tampa and Naples. But when the recession scrapped the $315 million project before construction had even begun, investors wondered what the next step was going to be.

Similar projects in other states also sat vacant. Many investors in similar situations chose to sell the land to other investors who ended up zoning the land for other use. But according to reports, the owners of the Florida land bided their time, knowing that it would pay off in the long run.

With the economic upturn well on its way to acceptable levels, construction will finally begin on this once barren landscape. "This market is under retailed, and has been in need of this type of project for quite some time," says the executive director of leasing for the area where the mall is located.

Source: The Herald Tribune, "University Town Center could change retail landscape," Justine Griffin, Oct. 13, 2012

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