I have been getting lots of comments and emails about the Bear Creek issues and Newport Pavilion and despite being untimely I thought I would add my two cents.
1. I absolutely hate to see this happen. I want a Target, Chipotle, and Kroger closer to home just like everyone and I hope it can still happen - sooner, rather than later.
2. We could see this coming a mile away. Lets revisit the timeline of events:
Feb '08 - Home Depot backs out of the development
July '08 - Bear Creek Partners split
Jan '09 - Liens begin to pile up against the Montgomery development
Jan '09 - COO leaves for competitor
Feb '09 - Bear Creek exits over $900m in developments in the Cincinnati area
3. There is still a lot of uncertainty around the Newport Pavilion. Target has said they will not begin construction in 2009 but stop short of saying that they have cancelled the location. While a sub-contractor indicated the project is on hold, Kroger has said they will open the Marketplace by the summer. The city of Newport is not commenting which means they are just embarrased after condemning an entire neighborhood and now watching a giant mud hole develop. So where does this leave the development? I really don't know and in this environment there is no way of telling.
4. I believe the fate of Bear Creek is going to be a common refrain across the country right now and the impacts will vary by community. I think there are still some chapters to be written on this story as the partner that exited in the summer has now returned to try and right the ship but unfortunately the damage has been done. Here is to hoping that they can get this back on track. The development is in a great location with great highway access and nestled between communities that are very attractive for many retailers.