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Columbia’s Harbison shopping center gets a facelift

krupon@thestate.com (803) 771-8308April 10, 2014 

A popular Harbison Boulevard shopping center is getting a facelift. Renovations already have started at Harbison Crossing with the façade removed from Outback Steakhouse and the former Barnes & Noble bookstore, which closed at the end of last year.

Outback remains open during construction, and the former bookstore space will reopen this fall as a Nordstrom Rack. Throughout the next year, the entire shopping center at 264 Harbison Blvd. – which also includes Babies R Us, Marshalls and Once Upon a Child -- will undergo renovations. The facelift is set to be completed by spring 2015, according to shopping center owner DDR Corp., based in Beachwood, Ohio.

“Harbison Court represents an attractive redevelopment opportunity to further upgrade a prime shopping center from a merchandising perspective, which ultimately results in an enhanced shopper experience,” spokesman Matt Schuler said in a statement.

The redevelopment comes at a time when retail is rebounding from the worst recession in a lifetime and new shops are opening in the Harbison shopping corridor, which traditionally has been the entry point into the Columbia market for retailers new to the area.

HomeGoods, Designer Shoe Warehouse and Ulta opened in a new shopping center last year on Harbison at Park Terrace Drive. And construction already has started on a new Academy Sports + Outdoor and Guitar Center behind that shopping strip.

The new Nordstrom Rack – an off-price division of Nordstrom – will be a first for the Columbia market. The store will go into an approximately 34,000-square-foot space, taking up the former bookstore and a couple of adjacent smaller storefronts.

Eliminating bookstores, office supply retailers and several other categories and partnering with discount retailers such as Nordstrom Rack is part of DDR’s growth strategy, according to its investor update in March. Harbison Court is the only DDR-owned property in the Columbia area.

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