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ArtSpace tenants moving out of Crestwood Court

Crestwood Court on Wednesday, Dec. 28, 2011. Photo by Erik M. Lunsford

CRESTWOOD • The beleaguered Crestwood Court would be reborn into a "public square"-style center, with shops and restaurants partially surrounding a multipurpose plaza for concerts, farmers markets and large gatherings under a plan unveiled Thursday night by Centrum Partners.

Sol Barket, of Centrum Partners, told the Board of Aldermen and about 75 residents Tuesday night that if the plan goes through, construction could be under way by late 2014.

Centrum, a Chicago-based developer, bought the 47-acre mall in 2008 and operated it as arts space for a time but now is working toward total redevelopment.

Preliminary plans include razing most of the present site in favor of new construction, most of it one story. But the former Macy's building on the west side would be retained and redeveloped into a grocery store, health club and cinemas with separate parking and entrances.

On the east side, what was a Dillard's garage would be structured into a location for a Toby Keith's bar and grill. That was the only specific potential tenant named.

Barket said Centrum will be requesting tax increment financing for the development and financial details will come when that request is made.

"We're talking about $100 million project, besides the TIF," Barket said.

The Board of Aldermen would have to approve any tax assistance that goes to the project.

Centrum's new concept for the mall includes about 310,000 square feet of space in the first phase. A second later phase to the north would have almost as much space and could include housing.

Crestwood Court had 1 million square feet.

Crestwood Mayor Jeff Schlink said Centrum's plans for the mall would be the topic of an upcoming town hall meeting.

Officials also pointed out that any tax assistance for the mall would require an application and approval process.

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