July 12, 2016

Boyle Expanding With Retail, Office Projects

By Nicky Robertshaw
Boyle Investment Co. is developing a 400,000-square-foot shopping center in northeast Shelby County just west of Collierville, part of a 100-acre multi-use development valued at more than $100 million.

Construction is set to begin this spring on the center, Gallina Centro, which is named both for the family that owns the land and the Italian word for a town’s commercial center. Work is expected to be complete in spring 1999.

The site — once slated for a regional mall — is located at the southwest corner of Winchester and Houston Levee, with Poplar bordering on the north. The shopping center will take up the eastern half of the property, where it will be visible from those three major thoroughfares.

“We think this is the right product for the market and the time,” says Boyle vice president Steve Bowie about the plan.

While Boyle is developing the first phase on its own, the second phase will be a partnership between Boyle and the Gallina family. The latter phase will be multi-use development that potentially will include a hotel, additional retail and offices.

The $40 million shopping center will take up 45 acres of the site, while the multi-use development will take up the remaining 55 acres, Bowie says.

Gallina Centro will be a hybrid of the community shopping center format such as the one Boyle used to build The Village Shops of Forest Hill in Germantown and the power center format the company has been developing in Texas, Bowie explains.

That means this center will include a grocery store and smaller shops as well as five-seven of the big-box tenants typical of a power center. One of them may be what Boyle executives call a junior department store.

The center will have about 10 outparcels, mostly for restaurants, taking advantage of the location’s visibility and accessibility.

The exact configuration will depend on the tenant mix that’s ultimately formed, Boyle executives say.

The design will include some classic Italian architectural elements to tie in with the center’s name. This likely will spill over into the design of the second phase, says Fritz Mattern, Boyle director of retail leasing.

The center is being designed by Dallas-based Hodges & Associates, the firm that did Boyle’s power centers in Plano and Ft. Worth.

Phase Two will be marketed concurrently with Gallina Centro, but the construction timetable will depend on specific deals with tenants, Bowie notes.

“The center will be a high-quality center in the tradition of Boyle projects,” Mattern says, noting that the company generally builds with the intention of owning its developments.

The Boyle plans differ significantly from what was discussed earlier for the Gallina site. A few years ago it was optioned to the Michigan-based developer Schostak Brothers & Co., which was interested in building a regional mall or other type of retail there. However, the option expired last year.

While the demographics of the area are excellent, they are not generally thought to be strong enough to support a seventh enclosed regional mall for this metropolitan area.

The location at Winchester and Houston Levee affords numerous advantages for a retail center, Bowie says, including the fact it’s in unincorporated Shelby County and therefore unencumbered by the tiny-town controversy.

Other advantages:

· It’s within easy reach of well-heeled Germantown and Collierville residents, as well as employees who’ll be working at the FedEx Campus at Collierville, Baptist Hospital and other nearby developments that will bring workers into the area.

· There’s excellent accessibility, given the site’s frontage on three main roads. That will be strengthened in the next few years as Houston levee is widened to six lanes and connected to Nonconnah Pkwy., and as Winchester is widened to six lanes also and extended east beyond Houston Levee.

· With few north-south roads in the area, it’s difficult for those who live or work in northeast Shelby County to reach Wolfchase Galleria and the other retail development in the southeastern part of the county. Therefore the site will be a convenient and natural choice for their shopping needs.

“This is the logical place for the next regional center to be,” Bowie says.