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VOL. 112 | NO. 31 | Tuesday, February 24, 1998

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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.
PROPERTY SALES 51 334 9,936
MORTGAGES 41 330 10,946
BUILDING PERMITS 348 1,216 22,173
BANKRUPTCIES 43 348 6,311