September 30, 2010

Slow economy hasnai??i??t slowed pace on plans for a new Mid-South retail center

With new construction of retail centers nearing a national 40-year low, one Mid-South developer is confidently preparing for a recovery.

Marketplace Development LLC closed today on 3.11 acres in the shadow of Wal-Mart Super Center in West Memphis with plans to build a 29,340 square-foot retail center. The Marketplace at West Memphis is set to open in the spring of 2011 and the developers have agreements with retailers for all but three bays. Tenants will include AT & T Wireless, GameStop, Shoe Show, Dotai??i??s Fashions, Dragon China, Regal Nails and Mi Pueblo Mexican Restaurants.

The developers hope to break ground immediately on the project, located at 780 West Service Road just north of the Wal-Mart property. Architectural design for the project is being done J. Wise Smith & Associates, with engineering by Carlson Engineering. The construction is being handled by Marketplace Development, LLC in-house which includes a number of local sub-contractors. Financing was provided by First Tennessee Bank of Memphis, TN.

Ward Wimbish, the cityai??i??s Economic Development Director, worked closely with the developers to lure tenants into the center. With the exception of the AT & T Wireless store, which is re-locating to the new center, all the proposed tenants are new to the area or opening additional locations.

ai???We didnai??i??t take any tenants away from any other retail space in the city,ai??? Wimbish said. ai???Weai??i??re hopeful that this is a sign that retail is on the way back up, at least for us here in West Memphis.ai???

Shawn Massey, CCIM, SCLS and Robert Sloan, with The Shopping Center Group LLC, brokered the deal for the buyer and Massey says the project has been under way for more than two years. Ryan Lassiter and Tommy Lassiter of The Doyle Rogers Company from Little Rock, AR represented the seller The Scottish Rite.

Massey sayai??i??s this project was truly a community effort as the seller, the sellerai??i??s representatives, adjacent property owners and the City of West Memphis worked closely together with the developer to make this project happen in a very difficult time for new development and remained flexible as the market changed over past two years.

ai???Leasing has gone very well showing the strength of the West Memphis Market, even in a down economy,ai??? Massey said. ai???We fully believe that West Memphis is under retailed and that the only thing future expansion for national and regional retailers is the lack of available quality space in the market.ai???

Headquartered in Atlanta, The Shopping Center Group has offices in 21 cities, including Memphis.