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Rotunda Owners Eye Spring Redevelopment Start

The revamped redevelopment of the Rotunda is expected to last about 20 months.

Redevelopment of the Rotunda Shopping Center could begin as early as next spring.

Chris Bell, of Hekemian & Co. the shopping center’s owner, and Al Barry, a development consultant, met with residents on Tuesday, and showed preliminary schematics of what the project could look like. Redevelopment could begin as early as April or May 2013. Once the construction begins it is anticipated to last for about 20 months.

"What we showed last night was an early indication [of what the project may look like] and primarily for comparison purposes," Barry said in a telephone interview Wednesday.

Earlier this year they to drastically scale back plans for the redevelopment that fell through following the 2008 economic collapse. The company has abandoned plans to build a 22-story building, condos and detached grocery store. They instead plan on building about 300 market-rate apartments and keep a grocery store in the attached portion of the building.  

Previously, Bell has said the company wants to transform the former insurance building turned mall into The Grant Rotunda for less than $150 million.

Barry also said they remain in conversations with several grocery stores about taking over the space at the Rotunda vacated in March when the to a shopping center less than a mile away on 41st Street.

He said that some chains have actually expressed interest in moving into the old Giant space before the construction begins, but added that may not be feasible.

“Our experience is they may not be so anxious to move in until everything is complete,” Barry said.

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Dr. Badvibes June 28, 2012 at 07:11 PM
I'd love to see a Trader Joe's where the Giant used to be. It would be a perfect fit for that property. What was a cramped Giant would be a huge, spacious Trader Joes. It might even be too big, but they could always add a coffee bar or something. We’ve seen that two grocery stores can co-exist that closely (especially if they are as dissimilar as TJs and Giant). The Hampden hipsters and yuppies would love a TJs, and the other business tenants in the Rotunda wouldn’t have to worry about the entire building deteriorating because it’s lost its anchor tenant. If I had the resources, this would be a great franchise investment.

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