VOL. 117 | NO. 158 | Friday, September 5, 2003
Improved roads clear way for new retail center
Businesses Flock to East Memphis Center
Improved roads clear way for new retail development
The Daily News
Today in Memphis more than ever, improved roads and new
subdivisions often bring with them new retail and commercial opportunities.
The Shops at Kirby Gate, a new neighborhood center located
on Kirby Road between Quince and Stout roads, has opened to accommodate the
needs of new and established residents in the East Memphis community.
The 115,00-square foot center, anchored by a Kroger grocery
store with a fuel station, set up shop a few months ago, and business owners
already open in the development expect an increase in customer traffic soon, as
more new businesses are scheduled to open nearby in coming weeks.
McAlisters Deli is set to open its doors early next week in
a bay in the centers southern corner. A Chinese restaurant, cellular phone
retail store and perhaps another deli are planned for other spaces in the
A new Wendys restaurant also is planned for the front
portion of the property.
Room to grow. Randa Fergus, owner/manager of LaRues
Hair Cutters, relocated her business into the Shops at Kirby Gate from the
Kirby Gate Shopping Center around the corner.
Her new store opened for business July 23; a General
Cleaners store will open soon next door to the salon.
I wanted in here because of the draw of Kroger and a need
for more space, Fergus said, noting that her shop increased in size from 1,300
square feet to about 2,000 square feet.
She said shes already noticed an increase in walk-in traffic.
A lot of people see the ongoing construction and still
dont realize were open, she said.
Kirby Wine & Liquors also will relocate from Kirby Gates
Shopping Center its home for nearly 20 years to a freestanding,
8,000-square-foot store that is set for construction next year directly in
front of the new McAlisters location.
Store owner Phil Woodard said his stores move also was
prompted in part by the new Kroger store, as well as new road developments in
the vicinity of the center.
A shift in traffic. More than a year ago, a stretch
of Kirby Road in front of the new shopping center was expanded from two lanes
to four; the same road was re-routed north at Messick Road to connect with
Within the next month, the city will complete a new
connecting road, Kirby Gates Parkway, that will extend east-west alongside the
Shops at Kirby Gate from Kirby Road to Quince Road near the May Soccer Fields.
Woodard added that the expanded portion of Kirby Road from
the center to the on-ramp of Bill Morris Parkway already has resulted in an
increase in customers.
Every day, we hear customers comment that its easier and
quicker for them to get off (Bill Morris Parkway) at Kirby and travel to Poplar
Avenue, Woodard said. With the traffic pattern along Kirby growing, we want
to be as close to the road as we can.
With the new businesses and roads also have come new
rooftops, particularly near the re-routed section of roadway where Kirby Road
and Kirby Parkway meet.
Recently, the 48-lot Greenbriar subdivision opened. Nearby,
the final plat for another subdivision, the Orchards at Kirby Parkway East, was
approved Tuesday by the Memphis City Council.
Planned for convenience. The Shops at Kirby Gate is
situated to attract residents from both Memphis and Germantown. The city limits
for both are less than a mile away at the intersection of Stout and McVay
Germantown resident Thomas Mullins began grocery shopping at
the Kroger store the week it opened for business, transferring his business
from a Schnucks store at Germantown Road and Poplar Avenue.
The distance is not a whole lot of a factor between both
stores from where I live, but there are fewer lights, its wide open and very
convenient, he said about the new centers location. But the key is that
theres no congestion.
The new McAlisters marks the chains seventh store in the
area, with the closest and oldest local deli located in the Germantown Plaza
Chris McVay, assistant manager at the new store, said it
seats about 140 and offers patio dining.
He said the store hopes to attract customers from the
southeast corner of Memphis, as well as from Germantown.
Were excited about the new store, and we hope to do well
well see, he said. Our stores usually do well with the lunch crowd, but
were not sure that will be the case, necessarily, here at this one.
Woodard said construction of all types, coupled with the
road changes, have made the quadrant premium geography for new businesses.
We didnt hire a consultant or get a study done to know
that center is going to be busy, he said.