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VOL. 116 | NO. 62 | Friday, March 29, 2002

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Peabody Place filling space Peabody Place filling space at blinding pace By SUE PEASE The Daily News A sunglasses store opened up two weeks ago in Downtowns Peabody Place, bringing the total businesses operating in the expansive shopping center to nearly 30. The Sunglass Hut, offering sunglasses from makers such as Ray-Ban and Gucci, opened during the last week of February on the lower level of the Peabody Place Entertainment and Retail Center, across from the Gap, said Rod Pitts, Sunglass Hut sales associate. The almost 1,200-square-foot business features more than 1,000 pairs of sunglasses along with watches from manufacturers such as Fossil and Kenneth Cole. The stores business has "been awesome," Pitts said, breaking sales records even though the weather has remained wintry and cold. Pitts said the stores customers are a mix of tourists and Memphis residents. There are currently 25 businesses open at Peabody Place, said Andrew J. Groveman, Belz Enterprises senior vice president, which brings the occupancy rate to more than 90 percent. The Sunglass Hut opening followed on the heels of the Putting Edge, a glow-in-the-dark miniature golf business, which opened up in January. Peabody Place is not only adding retail space to the main mall, it is also adding retail across the street from Tower Records at the northeast corner of Third Street and Peabody Place. According to a construction permit filed March 14 with the Memphis and Shelby County Code Enforcement office, an 18,974-square-foot building addition at an estimated cost of $1.3 million is being planned next to the Peabody Place parking garage. John Dudas, vice president and director of strategic planning, said the two-level building should be complete in September. There is a prospect in mind for a tenant, whom he could not reveal at this time. "The whole idea was to build a commercial building there that would basically finish off those four corners," Dudas said. Tower Records, the Hampton Inn and Handy Park occupy the other three corners. "It will be a really nice active intersection and everything will blend together there," Dudas said. Across the street at the main mall, some stores are nearing their one-year anniversary. The massive 300,000-square-foot, four-level Peabody Place partially opened June 15 and has continued to add stores and restaurants since. Its largest tenant is the Muvico Theaters, a 22-screen movie theatre, which includes a large format screen similar to an IMAX theatre. Its next largest tenant is Jillians, which combines dining with multiple entertainment venues, such as video games, bowling and a dance club. Other tenants include Starbucks Coffee, Ann Taylor Loft and Isaac Hayes, Music, Food, Passion restaurant.

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