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VOL. 112 | NO. 47 | Wednesday, March 25, 1998

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By LAURIE JOHNSON EyeMasters to open third Memphis store at Cross Creek By LAURIE JOHNSON The Daily News EyeMasters plans to open its third Memphis vision care center this summer at 3525 Riverdale Road in the Cross Creek Shopping Center. The 3,800-square-foot store, located on an outparcel near Home Depot, will be areas first free-standing EyeMasters location. Other local EyeMasters stores are in Oak Court Mall and Wolfchase Galleria Mall. The new store is expected to open in June, said Sandra Crimmins, who manages the Wolfchase store and will manage the new store when it opens. A building permit valued at $130,000 was issued recently for interior construction at the new store, according to Shelby County Code Enforcement records. D. A. Wallace Construction Co. Inc. of Memphis is the general contractor for the project. Crimmins said the new store, located at Riverdale Road and Nonconnah Parkway, will complete EyeMasters plan to have a presence on the most important retail corridors in Memphis. "We wanted to cover all sides of the city, and we felt like having that location there, with one at Wolfchase and one at Oak Court, would pretty much cover the Memphis market." She said company research determined the Nonconnah corridor, which opened in December from Riverdale to Bailey Station, was a hot zone for retail development. "There is a lot happening there, " she said. "It is certainly booming." Like the other area EyeMasters, the Cross Creek store will be a full-service vision care center, offering eye examinations, eyeglass and contact lens fittings, sales, repairs and adjustments. The store also will have an on-site laboratory, which will allow it to fill most eyeglass prescriptions in an hour. "At our other locations here in the city, we run about 95 percent one-hour service, which means that about 5 percent of our prescriptions have to be special ordered," Crimmins said. EyeMasters has been in Memphis for about five years. The Oak Court store opened as part of the mall expansion, and the Wolfchase store opened in March 1997. Crimmins said the new store will have a staff of about 12, including doctors, technicians and support staff. Some of these employees will transfer to the new store from the other Memphis locations," she said. "We do have some that are transferring, and for those spots, we are filling in the spaces. For other spots, we will be hiring new people." All three local EyeMasters stores are owned by Eye Care Centers of America Inc., a privately held company based in San Antonio. In addition to the EyeMasters brand, the company owns several other vision care chains, including Binyans in Oregon, VisionWorks in South Florida and HourEyes in the New England states. Crimmins said there are no specific plans for any more stores in Memphis. The addition of the EyeMasters store leaves only one parcel available in the Cross Creek Shopping Center, said Michael Lightman, the commercial centers developer. "The shopping center is full," he said. "We have only one outparcel left, and were working on a restaurant deal for it that we should be able to announce within the next 30 days." Anchor tenants in Cross Creek include Old Navy, Kroger, Rhodes Furniture, Hallmark, Baby Superstore, Bed, Bath & Beyond, Home Depot, Hollywood Video and Cooker Bar & Grille. Small space tenants include B. A. Framer, Goulds Styling Salon, Hair Solutions, Household Finance, Alltel, Bensingers Fine Cleaners and a nutrition store.
PROPERTY SALES 56 289 2,908
MORTGAGES 55 226 2,009
BUILDING PERMITS 108 1,002 6,703
BANKRUPTCIES 42 248 1,225