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Published: Thursday, 5/17/2007

Dillard's looks like it will stay in a redeveloped Southwyck Shopping Center in Toledo


The long-stalled plans to redo the Southwyck Shopping Center took a turn for the better today as Dillard s department store has offered a conditional agreement under which it would be part of a redeveloped center.

Although Dillard s did not make a firm commitment to stay, the plan would allow developer Larry Dillin, of Dillin Corp., to market his $125 million project to rejuvenate the aging mall with a potential Dillard s store in it.

Mr. Dillin is to pitch his plan to retailers next week at a major shopping center convention in Las Vegas.

Under the plan, the department chain would remain in the new center, which is to be a traditional village-like shopping center. Parts of the currently enclosed mall, which has many empty stores, will be demolished.

We can show them (in Las Vegas) as an anchor, Mr. Dillin said.

However, a Dillard s store won t be in Southwyck unless Mr. Dillin is able to secure commitments from other tenants to join the project. Progress on finding tenants and funding for the project was stalled for a few months when Dillard's, which owns about half of Southwyck, declined to give Mr. Dillin a decision on whether it would stay or leave the center.

What Bill Dillard and I have agreed to is a set of conditions under which he d be comfortable in staying, he said. I have to determine the viability of that. What I have to do is prove it s viable in the marketplace. We re excited to go market the plan. We re going to do so aggressively.

A large stumbling block is Dillard s, which is based in Little Rock, is building a new store not far away in Maumee at the Shops at Fallen Timbers shopping complex. That complex is to open in October.

Read more in later editions of The Blade or toledoblade.com

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