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VOL. 113 | NO. 211 | Friday, November 5, 1999

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Construction underway on Kirby Gates expansion Construction underway on Kirby Gates expansion By LAURIE JOHNSON The Daily News Construction is underway on an expansion of the Kirby Gates Shopping Center, which will mean more space available for retail, office and service center use. A new freestanding Walgreens also is being built on the site, located at the northwest corner of Kirby and Quince roads in East Memphis. "Were expanding the center by 12,000 square feet, and were building a freestanding Walgreens there," said developer Ray Gill of Gill Properties. The expansion will increase the shopping centers size to 74,000 square feet. While the majority of the new space will be retail space, part of it also will be available for office and service center use, Gill said. F & F Construction is the general contractor for construction of both the addition to Kirby Gates and the new Walgreens. Construction is now underway on both projects, which are expected to be completed within six to eight months. The Walgreens will be one of the companys newest prototype freestanding stores, which have proven popular with customers because of their convenient features, such as double drive-thru pharmacy windows. Gill said no leases have yet been signed for space in the new Kirby Gates addition. "Weve had a lot of phone calls, but we havent really started marketing or anything yet," he said. Most of the enterprises expressing interest in leasing space in the new expansion were retail users, he said. However, space also is available for office and service-type tenants. Tenants in the center include Kirby Liquors, Cenwood, the appliance division of Central Woodwork Inc., Unicorn Restaurant and Game Masters, as well as a number of smaller stores. First Tennessee Bank also has a freestanding kiosk on the property. When construction of the new Walgreens is complete, Kirby Liquors will relocate into space in the shopping center now occupied by Walgreens. "Theyve already expanded four times," Gill said. With 13,500 square feet, the new location will make Kirby Liquors the largest liquor store in Shelby County, Gill said. Construction of the new Kirby Gates addition and the Walgreens will essentially complete development of the nine-acre site, said Gill, who launched development of Kirby Gates in 1983. The project marked his second retail development venture, and he said its master plan has undergone several changes through the years. "When I planned this so long ago, we were going to put a grocery store there," Gill said. "But then grocery stores got too big for the site." Gill considered a number of other proposals for the site, including a hotel. "When FedEx moved to Hacks Cross and Winchester, we decided that wouldnt be the best use." In addition to Kirby Gates, construction and expansion projects Gill now has underway include development of a 61,000-square-foot StorageTown of America self-storage facility at Stage Road and Bartlett Boulevard, as well as building an addition to Bartletts Stage Center shopping center to provide more room for one of its tenants. Gill also is the developer of Cordova-The Town, a neo-traditional community located on 150 acres in the heart of old Cordova north of Macon Road, about a mile east of Germantown Parkway.
PROPERTY SALES 73 147 18,012
MORTGAGES 89 184 20,749
BUILDING PERMITS 117 258 37,094
BANKRUPTCIES 55 114 11,540