After four years of vacancies and foreclosures nationwide, the opening of a new business is something people get excited about, but the opening of six new businesses in a single shopping center makes headlines
Since November, Akers Mill Square Shopping Center at the intersection of Cobb Parkway and Akers Mill Road has seen the opening of a Golfsmith and Toys ‘R Us/Babies ‘R Us. Right next door to the toy store is the future home of Petco. There’s also Pollo Tropical, a quick-serve restaurant serving Carribbean-inspired cuisine that opens May 4.
But Pollo Tropical won’t be the center’s newest restaurant for long. There’s also a Brooklyn Water Bagel Company opening soon. And don’t forget about Zoë’s Kitchen being constructed on the lot that used to be home to the Krispy Kreme Doughnuts shop.
Amy Kennedy, a leasing agent for The Shopping Center Group, couldn’t be happier about the flurry of activity at Akers Mill Square calling it a “a great site to talk about what’s happening in the economy.”
“I think it does speak to increased consumer demand and retailers translating that into stores,” she said. “It is a good sign when you have leasing activity and leasing activity that can lead to development like we have there with the new building.”
Kennedy credits the boom to Cumberland’s strong market noting that many of the businesses opening in Akers Mill Square are restaurants. She said Cumberland has always been a strong restaurant market because of its large daytime commuter population. She also recognized the property’s developer.
“The developer, Mull Properties in New York, is very competent development group and they’re able to pull together difficult deals like the Krispy Kreme site,” she said. “It was a very difficult deal to strike because of a number of things: It had been vacant a while, it had some elevation issues, it’s small. You had to have the right retailer and the right developer to be able to pull that together.”
She said the developers aren’t planning to slow down now that they’re picking up steam. Construction will soon begin on the vacant building that used to house Circuit City. The large structure will be parceled into several smaller units.
“We’re going to have a 15,000 square-foot-tenant in there that is a relocation from inside the market. We’re going to have Longhorn expanding to roughly 6,000 square feet inside that building. We have three other space, one that smaller like 1,400 square feet and two other 5,000-square-foot spaces one of which is leased and the other we’re still looking for a prospect.”