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Development Watch: Block 37

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The seriously snakebitten Block 37 mall has been faltering since opening day in 2009. Less than 30% of storefronts are occupied, tenants are moving out, not in, and prior owners have reneged on plans for a hotel and/or residential tower. But wait, what's this? The new owner/developer, L.A.-based CIM Group, recently bought the air rights for hundreds of hotel rooms or apartments. A previous plan for a Loews Hotel with 384 rooms could be rekindled with a different name and concept. The rights allow for up to 400 apartments or 500 hotel rooms above the retail structure. This would certainly shore up retail better than a hokie "Blues Experience" ever could. But don't get your panties in a bunch, there aren't any firm plans yet. [Crain's, previously]