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LR retail developments include two supermarkets.

Several Little Rock retail developments involving such national firms as CompUSA and Kroger Co. are nearing completion, and several others should open in the next several months.

The largest development is Dairyland Shopping Center on Chenal Parkway. Situated on a 25-acre site owned by the Shackleford family, the center could eventually grow to 250,000 SF.

The anchor tenant is Kroger, which is building a 63,000-SF prototype store, says Joe Whisenhunt Jr., who is developing the project with his father. The Kroger store will open in early December.

"We have not secured any leases yet [besides Kroger]," Whisenhunt says, "but [tenants] would be of the type like Office Depot, Books-A-Million, the larger national tenants. We consider this a power center similar to the Megamarket Shopping Center on West Markham, with the Megamarket, Office Depot and Service Merchandise."

He's considering apparel, dry goods, bookstores, office supplies and junior department stores. The tenants will be in the 10,000-20,000-SF range, Whisenhunt says.

Outparcels along Chenal and Kanis Road will house free-standing stores like restaurants and banks.

The Kroger is a full-service grocery store with pharmacy, floral department and similar offerings.

The Whisenhunts own the Kroger building on Highway 10, and it is second only to the Indian Hills Kroger in gross sales in Pulaski County, Whisenhunt says. The new Kroger on Chenal also should be very popular, he says.

"Kroger sees this Chenal area as a growing market," Whisenhunt says. "This will be one of their prototype stores. They have about two now in the Memphis market. It's a new design with an open and airy feeling, with an exposed ceiling. It will be about 10,000 SF larger than the Highway 10 store.

"We plan to do some creative things in the landscaping, with a water wheel and other things to make it attractive and inviting to customers."

The Dairyland Shopping Center will be built in phases over several years, Whisenhunt says.

The Whisenhunts wanted to develop the area for about 10 years, but the Shackleford family, which has owned the land for years, couldn't afford to sell for tax reasons, Whisenhunt says.

"So we are leasing, on a long-term ground lease, 25 acres from them there," Whisenhunt says.

The property is on the south side of Chenal Parkway and runs from Kanis Road to the extension of Kirk Road.

Several miles east of the Dairyland Shopping Center, near Bowman Road, a computer-buyers haven is sprouting.

The C.J. Cropper Co. is developing a shopping center at Bowman and Hermitage Roads with a CompUSA as the anchor tenant. No other tenants have been named yet.

West of Bowman next to a Phillips 66 convenience store, Gateway 2000 will build one of its free-standing retail stores. Construction has yet to start.

Realm Realty of Houston is developing a 50,000-SF shopping center west of Bank of the Ozarks. The center will be anchored by an Office Max store.

Riverdale Center

Harvest Foods opened Sept. 24 in the Riverdale Shopping Center on Cantrell Road, says John Haley, a Little Rock lawyer, who owns the center.

Another tenant in the center, Office Depot, opened over the weekend, Haley says. The grocer, under its previous Harvest Foods incarnation before the Little Rock-based parent company went bust, operated in the same site until spring 1997.

Affiliated Foods Southwest Inc., which now owns Harvest Foods. also will open a Petro Pete gas station as an outparcel near the supermarket.

The 250,000-SF shopping center is within 3,000 SF of being filled, Haley says. Haley believes that space will be under lease within the next two months.

Harvest Foods still has some space to sublease next to its store, Haley says.

The former Kmart site is now subleased to Carmike Theaters and Office Depot. Kmart has about 10 years left on its lease with Haley.

Schickel Development is building two strip shopping centers on the east side of Highway 10 near the entrance to the Walton Heights subdivision.

Pleasant Ridge West will be 26,000 SF and Pleasant Ridge East will be 100,000 SF, Louis Schickel says. The two centers will cost $10 million total, Schickel says, and about $15 million including land acquisition.

Most of the tenants who will be in the centers are local, Schickel says, but he is also looking at national and regional tenants.

"We're looking for well-established retailers and restaurants" in the centers, Schickel says.

There are 800 apartment units near the two shopping centers, Schickel says, as well as the Walton Heights and Pleasant Forest neighborhoods. Schickel says 30,000 cars a day drive by the shopping centers, according to a recent survey.
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Title Annotation:Little Rock, Arkansas
Author:Smith, David
Publication:Arkansas Business
Date:Sep 28, 1998
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