By NATE LEGUE
ALGONQUIN - The Galleria may be a year behind its neighboring shopping center, Algonquin Commons, but developers say they will have no problem keeping up.
The 600,000-square-foot Algonquin Commons will open this fall, while The Galleria could break ground that early or in the spring just across the street on Randall Road south of County Line Road.
The Galleria might take up to five years to finish its projected 1 million square feet of retail space on 110 acres. But about 200,000 square feet could open next summer, said Mike Firsel, principal at Mid-America Investment and Development Co., which is building the center.
Mid-America is negotiating with several interested tenants and expects to announce some of them in the next few months, Firsel said. The developers hope to finalize a deal to bring a 12-screen movie theater to the spot.
Furniture stores, specialty retail and restaurants are expected to complement the stores on the other side of the road.
The area on Randall Road in Algonquin is a hot spot for retailers because of booming population growth and high median incomes in the region. Firsel is not concerned about the competition with Algonquin Commons, because success for one shopping center means business for all.
"We think that the Commons is a wonderful catalyst to bring retail shoppers to this area and is the main reason we are finding success in our leasing efforts," Firsel said.
Ultimately, that stretch of Randall Road could become a "destination spot" for shoppers.
"People know they can go to a certain area and go to a variety of different stores, a variety of different entertainment options and have almost everything they need without having to deal with a closed mall atmosphere," Firsel said.