Major renovations underway at Poplar Plaza

Crews are bringing down buildings at Poplar Plaza as part of a plan to revitalize the East Memphis shopping center.
Crews are bringing down buildings at Poplar Plaza as part of a plan to revitalize the East Memphis shopping center.

(WMC-TV) – Crews are bringing down buildings at Poplar Plaza as part of a plan to revitalize the East Memphis shopping center.

Kroger shoppers won't get to enjoy a renovated space. Instead, the grocery chain is building an entirely new store at Poplar Plaza.

"It'll be about 87,000 square feet," said Joe Bell, of Kroger. "It's going to be a gorgeous store."

Kroger shoppers won't get to enjoy a renovated space. Instead, the grocery chain is building an entirely new store.

Once the new store is complete, the existing Kroger will be demolished to make room for a parking lot.

Finard Properties, which owns the retail center, has spent millions on the project. Tenants have been moved, new buildings have been built and old ones, including the former home of Tastee Buffet, have been torn down.

"It takes time to get the tenants moved out and around," said Bell.

Meanwhile, other businesses, including Gould's Day Spa, are already settling in to their new Poplar Plaza locations. The spa is now housed along Poplar in the former Bookstar space.

Bell said the Kroger store will bring an added boost to the local economy.

"Going from a store the size we have, to a new store will entail anywhere from 50 to 100 new employees," he said. "So, that's more employment to the area."

The construction project should be completed by the beginning of 2013.

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