Consumers are starting to spend at retail centers again, says Claudia Frederick with CBL & Associates Properties. "With the numbers we're seeing so far this first quarter, they're showing us that they're OK with going back to paying full price for what they want," she says. Also helping are the nonretail tenants, such as doctors or dentists, that shopping centers brought in last year, says Jesse Tron, spokesman for the International Council of Shopping Centers. "Traditionally, a lot of developers weren't looking at nonretail outlets as the best fit. ... But it's far better to bring in those nonretail businesses because filling that space means the malls are collecting rent."

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