An artist's rendering of the project in Maumee depicts an open-air development that includes a theater.
A year from now, the long-awaited Shops at Fallen Timbers will at last open for business in Maumee.
The developer, General Growth Properties Inc. of Chicago, yesterday revealed no new stores for the million-square-foot center, but did say the project would open on Oct. 3, 2007, nine years after it was proposed.
"I think we're all tired of waiting," said Ron Den Adel, vice president of development for the developer.
The firm opening date was the only news out of yesterday's ceremony marking the groundbreaking of the project, as steel tresses were hoisted into place on a 47,000-square-foot building. Construction has been under way for weeks at the 100-acre site near the intersection of U.S. 24 and U.S. 23/I-475.
Originally conceived as an enclosed mall, the project was shifted to an open-air village with 80 shops.
Steel framing has begun to rise for retailers at the center.
"You have no idea how many hours of discussion and debate went into this development," said Maumee Mayor Tim Wagener, referring to years of battling some local residents opposed to such a project as well as to time to develop tax plans and negotiate with school officials on tax abatements.
General Growth officials confirmed that Dillard's, J.C. Penney, Barnes & Noble, and P.F. Chang's China Bistro will be at Fallen Timbers, and National Amusements will open a 14-screen Showcase Cinema there. Those stores have been identified previously. The center also will have a four-story hotel, but no name was released.
Developer George Isaac, of Bryan, set yesterday's events in motion in 1995 by optioning 430 acres next to Fallen Timbers Battlefield, then selling General Growth 110 acres in 1997.
"Often it takes time to convince people on a vision," he said, adding that it was great to finally see the project break ground.
He plans to develop acreage around the center into a mix of retail and residences, work that could begin before Fallen Timbers opens, he said.
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