Regency Centers (NYSE:REG), a national owner, operator and developer of grocery-anchored shopping centers, will begin construction of Grand Ridge Plaza, a 280,113-square-foot shopping center, anchored by market-dominant grocer Safeway, on 24.58 acres. Located in the heart of Issaquah Highlands, a master planned community east of downtown Seattle, Grand Ridge Plaza will be the only major retail center to serve the community and will draw shoppers from around the region. Regency will build a 280,113-square-foot open air, pedestrian-friendly center that includes a 44,543-square-foot Safeway and a 56,820-square-foot, 12-screen Regal Cinemas. The center’s merchandising will focus on convenience retail, restaurants, entertainment and destination retailers in order to create a regional draw from the nearby Sammamish Plateau, greater Issaquah and Interstate 90. Safeway and the remaining center will open in fourth quarter 2013, following a first-phase opening of Regal Cinemas in second quarter 2013. “We’re excited about becoming a long-term citizen of Issaquah Highlands, which has become a model for master planned community development due to the diligence of master developer Port Blakely Communities and the City of Issaquah,” said Craig Ramey, senior vice president for Regency Centers. “Grand Ridge Plaza is one of the last infill development sites in the area and will benefit from limited competition due to high barriers to entry. We are committed to expanding our presence in the Pacific Northwest through the development of quality shopping centers like Grand Ridge Plaza.” Issaquah Highlands will include up to 4,540 homes, 3 million square feet of commercial space and more than 1,500 acres of parks, open spaces and trails once fully built out. With a mix of diverse neighborhoods, there are currently 3,310 homes completed or under construction. Designed around principles of New Urbanism, Issaquah Highlands was among America’s first sustainable urban villages and today serves as a model for developers and builders worldwide.