Chico’s and pizza chain that cooks pies in 90 seconds opening at Fashion Center

New York and Co. opens in Christiana Mall as area south of Newark remains a hot spot.

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Women’s fashion chain Chico’s will open a store in the Christiana Fashion Center. Alsoon the way is a fast-cooked pizza chain that will open a location on Friday.

Chico’s has a store in nearby Christiana Mall. It was not immediately known if that space will be vacated.

The Chico’s store location is a sign that the outdoor center is becoming an option for retailers who want to be in the mall area but may want an outdoor entrance and a locationin a “lifestyle’ or “power center’ with parking close to the store.

But while retailers come and go in Christiana Mall, the center in a sales tax-free state still draws occupants, one of the latest being New York and Co. a mid-priced women’s store that also has a location in Concord Mall in north Wilmington.

The Melt Shop a small sandwich shop chain with a presence in New York City, plans to open a location in the mall itself.

The mall, while keeping occupancy rates around 90 percent, often has a few vacant spaces this time a year, but barring corporate bankruptcies or other events is close to being fully occupied by the holiday season.

Another women’s retailer, Talbot’s was a previous occupant of Christiana Mall but vacated its space a few years ago. Talbot’s is now open at the Fashion Center.

Remaining space in the first phase of the Fashion Center is nearly filled up, with David’s Bridal, Orange TheoryFitness planning to occupy space in coming months.

The expansion continues with precast concrete walls are going on a space next to the newly opened Main Event entertainment center at the Fashion Center. The building will be the home for Edge Fitness. The fitness center will occupy 37,000 square feet. Edge has 18 fitness centers in the Mid-Atlantic and southern New England areas.

Other tenants of the half a million square foot center are The Container Store, REI, Nordstrom Rack, Sak’s OFF 5th, DSW Shoes, Best Buy, Jared and ULTA along with the fast-casual restaurants Zoup!, Zoe’s Kitchen and Shake Shack. Chili’s Marshall’s/HomeGoods is now open along, Fortunoff Outdoor Furniture and with Ted’s Montana Grill.

Slated to open on Friday isMidiCi pizza. The chain is part of a trend toward craft pizzas that can be made in 90 seconds in a high-temperature oven. The restaurant also offers other Italian dishes as well as wine, beer, and cocktails. A Jersey Mike’s sub restaurant opened earlier.

Christiana Fashion Center is a development of Allied Retail Properties, owner of Concord Mall.

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