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VOL. 126 | NO. 223 | Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Linkous Builds Retail in Olive Branch

By Sarah Baker

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Despite a dearth of overall construction throughout town, one local construction firm is erecting retail in Olive Branch at an impressive clip.

Linkous Construction Co. Inc. is in the midst of building 108,000 square feet of retail space in the Wedgewood Commons shopping center, 5070 Goodman Road.

Wedgewood Commons is on the northeast corner of Miss. 302 and Pleasant Hill Road in Olive Branch, which LoopNet deems the fastest growing city in the Memphis Metropolitan Statistical Area and the state of Mississippi. And DeSoto County is ranked the 33rd fastest growing county in the country.

Rusty Linkous, president of Linkous Construction, said the development of Wedgewood Commons speaks volumes simply because there are not any sizeable retail developments coming online.

“As far as our knowledge, and we’ve got a pretty good pulse of what’s going on, it’s the biggest retail going on anywhere around here right now,” Linkous said. “I mean, retail construction is almost nonexistent right now, so it’s very welcoming to see a 100,000-plus-square-foot retail center being constructed and it’s providing a lot of jobs for a lot of people. … The subcontractors, the craftsmen, the vendors and suppliers that will be involved in this job.”

Anchors of the center include a 24,000-square-foot TJ Maxx, a 5,500-square-foot Rack Room Shoes, and two “nationally recognized junior anchors,” one measuring 24,000 square feet and the other 21,000 square feet, said project manager Kevin Scott.

In addition, Linkous Construction is building two “spec buildings” – one that’s about 19,500 square feet and one that’s almost 14,000 square feet – that are currently in negotiations with a number of “well-known retailers” and the developer of the center, Round Rock, Texas-based StoneCrest Investments.

Scott called the remaining space speculative because it’s all contingent upon which tenant comes in and how many bays it takes.

In the existing space that was developed by StoneCrest about four years ago is a Target, Gould’s Day Spa & Salon, Sport Clips, AT&T, and Mississippi’s first self-serve TCBY.

StoneCrest estimates 40,000 vehicle miles traveled per day and a population of 60,858 with an average household income of $70,206 within Wedgewood’s five-mile radius.

The partnership of Linkous Construction and StoneCrest is long-lasting and diverse, Linkous said. Both teams worked together to build 172,000 square feet of retail at Germantown Parkway and Interstate 40 in Countrywood Crossing, and 89,000 square feet of mixed-use space at Poplar and Forest Hill-Irene Road in StoneCrest’s new StoneCreek Center.

“We’ve got a proven track record with these guys,” Linkous said. “We’ve worked with developer Al Davidson for 25 years, as well as StoneCrest.”

And StoneCrest uses Linkous Construction during pre-construction to help with its budgets.

“We supply them with the construction numbers, which go in their budgets to make the deals with these retailers,” Linkous said. “So, from that standpoint, it’s really a true partnership. They depend on us on the front end to provide that information, and then as plans progress and plans are finished, then we competitively bid the job and make sure we get multiple subcontractors from each trade to submit bids to us and we pick the best qualified team and move forward.”

StoneCrest is using all local firms for the project, including Thoda & Associates PLLC (architect), with engineering services provided by Chad Stewart & Associates Inc. (structural), Burns Engineering (electrical) and Gala Engineering Inc. (mechanical).

Linkous Construction plans to have the entire 108,000-square-foot project completed before summer.

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