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VOL. 118 | NO. 116 | Wednesday, June 30, 2004

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Germantown Corridor Continues to Grow

Retail, residential growth attracts further development


The Daily News

The area of Germantown Parkway near Interstate 40 and south of the 1.1 million-square-foot Wolfchase Galleria shopping center is still a hotbed for development, with current or planned projects ranging from restaurants to a family entertainment center to a large school expansion.

Still stirring development. Wolfchase Galleria which contains more than 100 stores and restaurants and draws 10 million people annually, according to mall marketing director Naja Dollar has inspired a flurry of development south on Germantown Parkway near I-40. That development includes a Wendys restaurant under construction at 8092 Rock Creek Cove adjacent to Costco, as well as a 16.21-acre family entertainment center at Germantown and Rock Creek Parkway to be built later this year.

Steven Underwood, director of real estate and development for Valenti Mid-South Management, which operates nearly 120 Wendys restaurants in Tennessee, Mississippi, Missouri, Arkansas and Pennsylvania, said construction at the new location should be finished and the store ready to open by early August.

High visibility. Underwood said the stores visibility and proximity to I-40 initially attracted the company to the new location, which joins two other stores nearby. A building permit was issued for the property Feb. 3 to Valenti Development Group for $300,000, according to The Daily News Public Records Database, www.memphisdailynews.com.

Underwood added that the company plans to open two to three more stores in Metro Memphis this year.

Right now, we have two units in proximity to Germantown Parkway, Underwood said. Theres one on the northwest corner of Stage Road and Germantown Parkway, then we have a store in Cordova on Germantown Parkway. The things that really attracted us to the new location (in front of Costco) are its high traffic counts, good visibility and direct exposure to I-40.

Underwood said the hiring process has begun for the new store, adding that the development itself is close to 50 percent completed.

More growth on tap. Slightly to the south and across Germantown Parkway from the future Wendys location, Dennis Carpenter of Family Values Property LLC plans to open a family entertainment complex late this year. He said the group plans to begin site work soon on the project.

Ideally, I think were taking baby steps at this point, and if we can get the utilities and the road in, then that will give us a good time frame, Carpenter said.

More new development is visible farther south of the mall, where St. Benedict at Auburndale High School has purchased 26 acres north of and adjacent to the schools present campus at 2100 N. Germantown Parkway. Sharon Masterson of St. Benedicts communications office said the expansion should be completed before school starts back in August.

The expectation is that were going to get into the building either in July or early August, she said.

Major expansion. The expansion project, which Masterson said the school has been planning for the last two years, will include a new building to house grades nine through 12 and four new sports fields two lighted tennis courts, a softball field and a track and field area.

Masterson said the schools location on Germantown Parkway is ideal because of its high visibility. She added that the school doesnt anticipate much in the way of traffic problems.

Our traffic planners and architects have been working pretty diligently as far as planning how to keep the campus traffic smooth, she said.

Accelerated interest. Elsewhere in the area, local developer Gary Myers has nine acres of property at I-40 and Germantown Parkway under contract for retail development. The property is located across the street from the recently opened Kohls department store.

Myers said the pattern of development around Wolfchase Galleria has made property along Germantown Parkway increasingly attractive for developers.

The area around Wolfchase and in close proximity to that has largely been developed out for bigger uses already, Myers said. So the next logical place to seek out land is along Germantown Parkway, which everyone is looking at to be a stronger corridor than (U.S.) Highway 64.

And with large developments nearby and across the street, Myers believes his nine acres could be turned into a prime retail center.

A lot of the property around Kohls seems to have already been committed to one degree or another, but with the Kohls and Costco being there, thats really accelerated interest in things across the street, he said.

The 11.52-acre Kohls store at 2335 N. Germantown Parkway, across from Myers property, is another example of the development boom still occurring around Germantown and I-40.

Points of attraction. The Cordova Kohls store was one of three the chain opened in the Memphis area this spring. Though Kohls spokeswoman Tawn Earnest declined to provide a breakdown of sales by store, she said the Cordova location appears to be doing well for a variety of reasons.

Our core customers are women between 25 and 54 shopping for themselves or their families, Earnest said. As far as what factors we look at in determining where to open stores and what makes them successful, we look at where our core customers are, as well as many of the same things other businesses look at trends like traffic patterns, the density of the area and proximity to other retail stores. The (Germantown Parkway) location had all of those.


PROPERTY SALES 0 133 1,342
MORTGAGES 0 131 1,047