VOL. 125 | NO. 216 | Friday, November 5, 2010
Chipotle to Open First Memphis Locale
By Sarah Baker
A Mexican eatery will be the latest tenant to occupy space in one of Memphis’ most populated areas, where it is joining several corporate retail giants.
Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. has leased 2,400 square feet of space in Ridgeway Trace center, 5963 Poplar Ave. It will be Denver-based Chipotle’s first Memphis-area restaurant.
Anchored by Target, Best Buy, PetSmart and Sports Authority, the 347,358-square-foot Ridgeway Trace is or will soon be home to popular tenants such as Logan’s Roadhouse, Mattress Firm and SportClips.
Chipotle will occupy the west of one of Ridgeway Trace’s outparcels, with Panera Bread occupying the other end. Yogurt Mountain will be in the building, which has one remaining 2,850-square-foot bay. Chipotle will share a common patio area with Genghis Grill to the west.
Located at Poplar Avenue and Interstate 240, Ridgeway Trace serves the densely populated East Memphis and Germantown areas while providing easy access to the entire metropolitan market. Approximately 71,216 people live in the center’s three-mile radius.
Leasing executive Justin Robertson handled lease negotiations on behalf of Houston-based Weingarten Realty Investors, the company that developed and built the center after razing an old apartment complex there.
The Shopping Center Group LLC’s broker John Reed and managing partner Danny Buring represented Chipotle.
Buring said there’s not a better site than Ridgeway Trace in all of Memphis, which will make a good entry point for Chipotle.
“To set the tone for (Chipotle’s) first store, this is as good as it gets,” Buring said. “This will be their first store in the market, and they want it to be the right location, and that’s why they chose the site.”
Current Chipotle restaurant sizes range from 1,000 to 2,800 square feet, depending on trade area characteristics. The Mexican eatery seeks urban storefronts, shopping center end-caps and pads and freestanding buildings.
Chipotle opened its first restaurant in 1993 and currently operates more than 1,000 restaurants. The nation’s first-ever Platinum LEED certified restaurant, Chipotle uses ingredients that are sustainably grown and naturally raised with respect for the animals, land and farmers who produce the food.
“They’re very green, they’re very environmental, probably more so than any company I’ve ever worked with, much less one with over 1,000 stores,” Buring said.