MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - A newly-constructed shopping center is set to open next month at 6450 Poplar Avenue.
The 29,000-square-foot building, developed by Fogelman Investment Co., will add new retail and restaurants to the area.
Some of the tenants of the new shopping center include a second location for Overton Square restaurant Babalu, a new pizza chain called PizzaRev, optometrist Eye Society, and Pimento's, a rebrand of the local restaurant chain Holiday Deli & Ham.
According to Shopping Center Group partner Danny Buring, who handles leasing for the center, the dense East Poplar location has not seen a construction project of this size in at least 10 years.
To make room for the construction of the new shopping center, Fogelman destroyed the former Cozymel's restaurant in 2013. Previous plans for the area included a three-story building with retail on the ground floor and office space on the upper floors, but the project changed to focusing more on retail.
"We went through all different iterations and ideas and proposed projects for this site and thought this was the best fit because it's maximizing what's not there right now, and there's very high demand for retail," Buring said.
In February 2015, Fogelman, acting as Crown Centre LLC, applied for a $3.2 million building permit for shell construction. In 2014, Crown Centre filed a $6.1 million loan on the vacant property with Financial Federal Bank.
The 6450 Poplar shopping center is next to International Drive and south of International Paper's Tower IV. Numerous office buildings face the shopping center across Poplar.
"In this whole area, there's been a huge pent-up demand for restaurants," Buring said, noting that several other restaurant projects are underway in the Poplar corridor.
Near Interstate 240, Panda Express is constructing a 1,800-square-foot restaurant on an outparcel in the Target parking lot that, according to Buring, could be open by the end of next year. Germantown Mexican restaurant Las Tortugas Deli Mexicana is expected to open its second restaurant at 6300 Poplar Avenue at the Massey Road intersection.
In the new shopping center, PizzaRev is expected to be 2,400-square-feet and Pimento's is expected to be 3,033-square-feet. Both restaurants will be facing Poplar Avenue.
Facing International Drive, Eye Society could open within the next 30 days. In the beginning of 2017, Babalu will open its second location in a 5,405-square-foot space that will be located in the back part of the shopping center.
Approximately 13,000 square feet will be available for rentable space. Buring is hoping that higher-end retail, financial services or medical users will be interested tenants for the remaining space.
"With this project, we've got as much square footage on a great piece of real estate that we could fit and it's a very unique architecture," he said.