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VOL. 127 | NO. 132 | Monday, July 9, 2012

Poplar Transformation

Retail moves alter crowded East Memphis landscape

By Sarah Baker

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Two big retail deals have recently been inked on the Poplar Avenue corridor, soon filling empty spaces on the city’s busiest street.

Office Depot and Hollywood Feed will move into the former Samuel’s Furniture space at 5508 Poplar (near Yates). Office Depot is relocating from its spot next to Whole Foods and is downsizing while Hollywood Feed is expanding and keeping its location in Erin Way a mile and a half west. (Photo: Lance Murphey)

A new Family Dollar is going in the old Stringer’s Garden Center site at 2974 Poplar, while Office Depot and Hollywood Feed are going in the former Samuel’s Furniture space at 5502-5510 Poplar, near South Yates Road.

Danny Buring and John Reed with The Shopping Center Group LLC have been working on the Office Depot deal off and on for about a year. Samuel’s closed its 22,000-square-foot store at 5508 Poplar Ave. last year and has since relocated to 888 S. White Station Road.

Office Depot is taking all of the main easterly building, as well as the part of the west building that’s on the back of the property. The Delray Beach, Fla.-based office products company is relocating from its spot next to Whole Foods at 5014 Poplar and is downsizing its footprint to 18,666 square feet.

“Like a lot of retailers, they’ve shrunk their footprint,” Buring said. “Their prototypical stores now are 16,000 square feet, and then they’ve done some as small as 5,000 square feet.”

Whole Foods announced in May its plans to demolish its existing 25,000-square-foot store at 5022 Poplar and move into the adjacent 40,000-square-foot space currently occupied by Office Depot. Construction is expected to start in mid-2013, but Buring anticipates Office Depot’s new location to be open by October of this year.

Meanwhile, Hollywood Feed is taking all of the 5508 Poplar building’s west frontage. The Memphis-based natural and holistic pet food merchant is expanding and keeping its location in Erin Way Shopping Center a mile and a half west.

“I think it’s a rare opportunity to find a location in that area,” said Shawn McGhee, owner of Hollywood Feed. “If you really go down and look at the corners that are available in that area, they get pretty slim pretty fast. When you look at the density of that corridor, both from a traffic count standpoint and from a housing count standpoint, we’d really like to be able to have a store there to be able to service those customers.”

The new store will mark Hollywood Feed’s 10th in the Memphis area, all of which staff four to 12 employees. The new retail location at Poplar and Yates will include grooming and a dog wash service – offerings the store added to its Midtown location earlier this year in response to customer requests.

McGhee expects the store to be up and running by year’s end. Hollywood Feed will also be expanding into Little Rock with a new store opening in the next 90 to 120 days.

A new Family Dollar store will be constructed at the old Stringer’s Garden Center site at 2970 Poplar. (Photo: Lance Murphey)

“We look forward to it being very successful and continue to add to our Memphis market,” McGhee said.

Frank Dyer, principal broker with Loeb Realty Group, an affiliate of Loeb Properties Inc., is representing Hollywood Feed in the deal. Buring is representing the landlord of 5502-5510 Poplar, Lichterman Properties LLC.

Dyer is also involved in a retail deal farther west along Poplar. He’s representing Marketplace Development LLC in its pending acquisition of part of the old Stringer’s Garden Center site at 2974 Poplar for a new Family Dollar store.

Marketplace Development is the preferred developer of the Charlotte, N.C.-based chain of discount stores and is behind several build-to-suits in the Memphis area over the past few years. J. Wise Smith, chief manager of Marketplace Development, filed a $450,000 building permit for a new 8,320-square-foot Family Dollar at the site in June.

About one acre of the total 3.2-acre property is under contract with Marketplace Development, but is still owned by Sam L. Stringer Jr. Gary Shanks with The Shopping Center Group is the seller’s rep. It’s the front parcel in between McDonald’s and the gas station.

The remaining 2.2 acres that goes back to Tillman Road is currently listed with Hank Martin, vice president of NAI Saig Co.

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