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NOT Target: Sources confirm Borders Books space at Fourth Street Live leased to mystery tenant

by Terry Boyd

Sources have triple-confirmed the Borders Book space on Fourth Street Live has been leased to a The Cordish Companies concept.

This glowing rendering shows the fantasy Fourth Street Live. What will the reality be?

But no one will identify the new tenant ahead of a pending announcement.

Retail real estate sources tell Insider Louisville there were multiple firms interested in the space. But as of today, Hogan Real Estate officials, who handle Fourth Street Live leasing, are telling our sources the space is filled.

Chris Poynter, spokesman for Mayor Greg Fischer, confirmed Baltimore-based Cordish has a tenant. But Poynter declined to give details other than to say Fourth Street Live will not be getting a Target store, which was rumored to be coming.

The pivotal, two-story 10,000 square-foot space on the north entrance to Fourth Street Live has been vacant since Ann Arbor, Mich.-based Borders Group. liquidated last June.

Poynter said “we’re thrilled” by the news the space will be filled. Asked if the new tenant fits the city’s need for convention-friendly retail or downtown shopping, he referred Insider Louisville to Cordish executives in Baltimore.

Cordish officials did not return calls for comment.

In June, economic development officials told Insider Louisville that Cordish executives had assured city officials the giant retail developer could replace Borders Books with a hot retailer.

For a price.

Insiders described meetings in which Cordish officials said they could even secure a new urban prototype Target Corp. discount store if city officials were willing to provide tax rebates, taxing districts and other incentives, or even subsidize the project.

“It came down to, ‘How much money do you want to spend? How nice of a downtown can you afford?’ ’” said an insider with direct knowledge of the meetings.

That didn’t happen.

Though operations are heavily East Coast oriented, Cordish has at least 29 entertainment districts or retail development across the United States. In Louisville, most of the businesses that have come to Fourth Street Live have been restaurants or night clubs.

But the company’s shopping center division has relationships with a variety of top national retailers including The Gap and Wal-Mart. In the last few years, Cordish has developed a number of upscale outlet developments in second-tier cities such as Omaha.

This post will be updated as soon as we can tell you what is coming.

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