VOL. 112 | NO. 31 | Tuesday, February 24, 1998
By LAURIE JOHNSON
Construction to begin
on Kirby-Whitten Shops
By LAURIE JOHNSON
The Daily News
Construction is about to start on a commercial strip center that will add 12,000 square feet of retail and medical office space to the Bartlett real estate market.
Called Kirby-Whitten Shops, the new development is located at the corner of Kirby-Whitten Parkway and Star Valley Road north of Stage Road.
It is designed for a maximum of eight retail shopping or medical office tenants, said Stewart G. Austin, who is developing the project with his Austin/Weiss contracting firm partner Michael Weiss.
"Were looking for neighborhood-type shopping for the retail, and the medical can be anything from doctors to veterinarians," he said.
"We think thats whats logical for the area. Theres a need for it, and a lack of competition in the niche."
Increases in traffic following improvements to Kirby-Whitten Parkway and a highly visible location combined to make the site a good investment, Austin said.
"We look for traffic and exposure, and Kirby-Whitten Parkway is in the process of being extended to Whitten Road, which ties into I-40," Austin said. "This has increased traffic in the area tremendously."
Construction is expected to begin on Kirby-Whitten Shops in the next several weeks, and it should be completed in September.
The Austin/Weiss contracting firm will be the general contractor for the project. The building was designed by Memphis architect Baxter McCord.
The Kirby-Whitten Shops partnership has financed the $1.2 million cost of construction through National Bank of Commerce, according to a trust deed filed Wednesday in the Shelby County Registers Office.
Lease rates for Kirby-Whitten Shops will start at $15 per square foot. No contracts have been signed yet for space in the development, Austin said.
The extension and improvements to Kirby-Whitten Parkway have created an interest in developing in the area, said Bartlett assistant city planner Rick Stieg.
First Federal Bank for Savings has completed a new location on the east side of Kirby-Whitten Parkway, across from the Kirby-Whitten Shops site.
Stieg said the Albertsons grocery chain also has submitted preliminary plans for a new store, also on the east side of Kirby-Whitten.
"They dont have a building permit yet, but they are going to go ahead with their shopping center, we think," he said.
The Austin/Weiss partnership also has another retail and medical office project in the works.
Construction is underway on a commercial center on Memphis- Arlington Road at the entrance to Daybreak subdivision, Austin said.
He said space has been leased to a dry cleaners and a hair styling salon, although he declined to identify them.
The partnership also owns Forest Hill Shops in Germantown and Cordova Shops on Germantown Parkway, both of which are completely leased.