February 29, 2016

Kroger, Stein Mart signed for Center at Poplar/Houston

By Morgan Minch
– The Memphis Business Journal –

At least two high-profile stores have signed on the dotted line with Boyle Investment Company as tenants in the Gallina Centro shopping now under construction.

The Kroger Company and Stein Mart, Inc., have both committed to the project being built at Houston Levee and Poplar. Kroger will have 60,000 square feet and Stein Mart will take 36,000 square feet of the 400,000 available in the center. Boyle senior vice president Cary Whitehead says.

Other companies with designs on Gallina Centro are not yet ready to announce their intentions, Whitehead says. But they include a national drug store chain, restaurants-both fast food and seated-a home decor store and a fashion store. There are also convenience retailers, an office supply company and two laundry/cleaner stores considering the property.

Gallina Centro is directly across Poplar from The Collection of Houston Levee shopping center and catty-cornered from Landers Ford.

John David Hodo of Landers Ford is enthusiastic about the new shopping center, even though he recognizes that some of the people who moved to Collierville to get away from Memphis’ congestion may be dismayed.

"Anything that brings people to this corner-or rather, that makes people stop and do business here is a good thing," Hodo says. "I can’t see where it would hurt anything at all. This whole area is developing and that’s a good thing for the business community."

Construction workers broke ground on the project March 1 and Whitehead expects the first stores to open for business a year from now. There’s a total of 270,000 square feet available in the main structure, which Whitehead says will ultimately look like a single building from the front but will actually be several buildings constructed as the need arises. The rest of the total 400,000 square feet is in pad lots, he says.

Whitehead says he believes more stores than just Kroger and Stein Mart will be ready to do business in the spring of 2001. Boyle started planning the Gallina Centro center three years ago and Whitehead says it’s been a project that attracted a lot of interest.

Like most developments going up now, it has a flexible design that is capable of accommodating individual retailer demands.

"In the old days you’d build retail on spec but not so much any more," Whitehead says.

Retailers these days are much more specific about their needs and demand more uniform stores.

"They basically hand you a blueprint and say ‘build it,’" he says.

Founded about 100 years ago in Greenville, Mississippi, by Russian immigrant Sam Stein, Stein Mart specializes in selling upscale fashion at discount prices in nearly 200 stores nationwide. This will be the company’s fifth store in the market and the retailer hopes it will attract customers in Collierville, Stein Mart spokesman Susan Edleman says.

"After Greenville, Mississippi, Memphis was the first city that we ever expanded into, so we’ve been in Memphis since the late ‘70’s," Edleman says.