by Max Brantley
The Democrat-Gazette's article this morning about the Simon Property Group proposal to raze University Mall and build a mixed-use project mentioned Costco as a possible anchor tenant. (We wrote about the coming Simon proposal yesterday.)
If only that Costco speculation were true. We're big fans of the discounter.
The Simon reps told me explicitly yesterday that Costco was not interested in the project, or Arkansas in general, perhaps because of some sort of "gentleman's agreement" with Wal-Mart, whose Sam's Club is a direct competitor. In any case, the huge footprint of a Costco and the acres of surface parking they require, wouldn't be a good fit for the project envisioned here. Target, which has been in talks with Simon, has built multi-level stores that gets square footage from vertical growth, rather than a more horizontal profile.