By  on July 3, 2007

ATLANTA ­— A 35,000-square-foot expansion of Lenox Square mall, set to open in the fall, will feature Zara's first store here.

Other new tenants of the $12 million project, which comes as anchor Neiman Marcus grows by 52,000 square feet, include Calvin Klein's better-priced white label retail concept, along with Diesel, Miss Sixty, Puma and True Religion. All are making their first foray into the Atlanta market, one of the fastest growing in the U.S. Neiman's new space is to be completed in spring 2008.

The $12 million expansion adds a second floor to the Neiman Marcus wing of Lenox Square, Simon Properties' 1.5-million-square-foot luxury mall in Buckhead, located about 10 miles north of downtown Atlanta.

The 10,000-square-foot Zara unit will be the company's first in the Southeast outside Florida, where Zara has five stores. The 8,800-square-foot Calvin Klein store is one of five new full-line stores that Calvin Klein Inc. announced in June.

Calvin Klein Inc., owned and operated by CKI, a division of Phillips-Van Heusen, also will open stores open this fall in Los Angeles; Denver; Natick, Mass., and Bloomfield Hills, Mich., and feature a full assortment of product, including licensed categories such as dresses, outerwear and suit separates.

Several Lenox Square stores are renovating, expanding or relocating to the new wing, including Nicole Miller, Nine West, Sephora, Steve Madden and St. John Boutique.

Bud Konheim, chief executive officer of Nicole Miller, said the Lenox Square store generated more than $2.3 million in annual sales, or $1,500 to $1,600 per square foot.

"It's our number-one store, bigger than Madison Avenue," he said, attributing brisk sales to a good store manager and the hot Atlanta market. "Atlanta in general is so strong. The store draws customers from North Carolina, South Carolina and north Florida and all over the South."

Lenox Square, also anchored by Macy's and Bloomingdale's, is one of Simon's top five properties. Combined with Phipps Plaza, its sister luxury mall across the street, Lenox Square brings in slightly less than $1 billion in annual sales, said Tisha Maley, Simon's assistant vice president of leasing.

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