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VOL. 118 | NO. 194 | Tuesday, October 26, 2004

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Major Outdoor Retailer Coming to Hacks Cross Area

Winchester Corridor Continues to Expand


The Daily News

A national outdoors retailer is preparing to enter the Memphis market, choosing a thriving stretch of Winchester Road for its initial expansion effort outside the Western United States.

Utah-based Sportsmans Warehouse plans to open a 50,000-square-foot store at 7951 Winchester, near Hacks Cross Road in Southeast Memphis.

A $2 million building permit was filed by Hawkins Cos. and Sportsmans Warehouse last month for the new retail building, according to The Daily News Public Records Database, www.memphisdailynews.com. Ed Urbanek, director of real estate for Sportsmans Warehouse, confirmed the new location.

A new store opening is always good for us, and yes, we do have a signed deal in the southeastern part of the city at Winchester and Hacks Cross, he said. It is new construction.

Niche retailer. Sportsmans Warehouse, which has stores in several Western states, specializes in hunting and fishing equipment.

Its unlike the sporting goods stores that do the golf, the tennis, the skis and the lacrosse and those kinds of things, Urbanek said. We do hunting and fishing, and we do it pretty well. I was a fan of the company before I joined the company. It is the quintessential hunting and fishing store.

Scott Barton, vice president of retail for commercial real estate services firm CB Richard Ellis, said the concept should be successful in the Winchester area.

Its an excellent regional location with a store like that, he said. Theyre not going to compete, per se, with a Sports Authority. Theyre going to be selling $1,000, $1,500 shotguns. Theyre going to be selling fishing equipment. Theyre going to sell some very big ticket items, and I think theyre going to have a big regional pull.

Hawkins Cos., which has developed several stores for the retailer, is developing the Winchester Road location. It should be ready to open in 2005, Urbanek said.

Quick expansion. The Winchester store could be the first of several in the Metro Memphis market. Reportedly, the retailer is in negotiations for land in Cordova and Southaven, Miss. Urbanek would not comment on possible future projects in the area, but said the store is in expansion mode.

We are selecting targets of opportunity, because it is a very rapidly growing company, Urbanek said. In 1997, we had one store, and well have 28 stores open by the end of this year. We are keying in on areas that have a lot of people interested in outdoor activities hunting and fishing and the Southeast is, of course, prime for that kind of stuff.

Winchester growth. Sportsmans Warehouse has chosen a busy and growing retail market for its entry into Memphis.

Theres going to be over 1 million square feet there just of big boxes on that half-mile stretch from Hacks (Cross) to the Wal-Mart, said Danny Buring of The Shopping Center Group Inc. Thats pretty damn strong.

Those big-box stores include Costco, Lowes Home Improvement and Michaels, as well as Wal-Mart and Sams Club, situated west of Hacks Cross near Bill Morris Parkway.

And a center just east of Bill Morris anchored by a SuperTarget store is close to being signed off on, retail analysts said. The center would include several stores in addition to Target.

Representatives of Target Corp. did not return phone calls about the development.

Commercial explosion. Commercial activity has increased exponentially in recent years at Hacks Cross and Winchester, and several restaurants recently have opened along the stretch.

Hueys, The Half Shell, The Olive Garden and Buffalo Wild Wings have opened recently in the area. T.G.I. Fridays and Logans Roadhouse are nearing completion, and construction is about to begin on a Red Lobster. Construction is also under way on a Fiesta Mexicana restaurant just south of Winchester on Hacks Cross.

Silk & Stewart Development Group, a Pittsburgh-based retail real estate company, is working on a development adjacent to the Buffalo Wild Wings restaurant on Hacks Cross just south of Winchester.

The Shopping Center Group has signed a lease for the project with Wild Noodles, a restaurant chain new to the Memphis market. The 6,400-square-foot space is currently under construction.

Attractions. The area has seen an explosion of commercial development opportunities in recent years, and the reason appears to be simple the presence of the FedEx Corp. World Headquarters at the northeast corner of Winchester and Hacks Cross.

Bill Morris Parkway is another plus for the area.

If you look at the way Southeast Memphis and Collierville and South Germantown are following (Bill Morris), there is a lot there, and then there is an eastern migration in general, Buring said. The retail in the area is creating an incredible synergy. Youre looking at densities that are going to exceed Wolfchase, and I think youre looking at incomes that are probably higher than Wolfchase, as well.

Within five miles are 150,000 people with an average household income approaching $85,000, Buring said.

Business stability. Barton said there are several factors that should help the Hacks Cross/Winchester area remain a viable commercial center for quite a while. One factor is convenience.

You can get to Winchester and Hacks easily from either exit, Barton said. And of course, the X factor is FedEx. That just makes it a natural for commercial development. What youve got is the stability of businesses that are going to be there for the long haul, which Hickory Hill didnt have.


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