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The Mall at Turtle Creek: a major boost for Northeast Arkansas.

Mall developers Belz and Bruce Burrow predict that more than $100 million in retail sales and more than $8 million in new sales tax revenue will stay in northeast Arkansas after the Mall at Turtle Creek fully opens early next year. Annual retail sales are projected to be $225 million for the retail complex.

The first phase of the $100 million Mall at Turtle Creek will open in October once the Target and J.C. Penney stores are completed. Phase two of the complex, which will include a two-story Dillard's, other sub-anchor tenants--Barnes & Noble, Circuit City and Bed Bath & Beyond--and more than 100 other tenants, is expected to open in March 2006.

According to the developers, the vast majority of the increase in sates tax will be shifted from the Memphis area, where northeast Arkansas and southeast Missouri residents have historically chosen as a shopping destination. A lesser amount of sates tax revenue will be shifted from residents who might have chosen to shop at the malls and retail outlets in Little Rock, North Little Rock and other regional shopping areas.

"The shift of the retail scene in Memphis towards the outer eastern edge has created a major opportunity for us in Jonesboro," said Burrow of Jonesboro, a principal with MBC Holdings Inc., formerly known as Belz-Burrow Development Group. "It's no longer an easy trip for someone in northeast Arkansas to run over to Memphis and back within a couple of hours. Now once you get to Memphis your trip is just beginning."

"Our continued economic growth in Jonesboro has also created the opportunity for our project to proceed, particularly in light of the interest from nationally known retail stores more common to larger markets," Burrow said. "We are going to bring many of these retail stores to Jonesboro for the convenience of northeast Arkansas and southeast Missouri residents."

Economic Growth

The mall is expected to provide more than 1,500 jobs and the full-time equivalent of more than 900 new net jobs. "The infusion of several hundred construction jobs has already been helpful to our local economy," said Henry P. Jones III, the Jonesboro Regional Chamber of Commerce president and CEO.

"With over 900 new jobs expected once the project fully opens in 2006," Jones said, "it's easy to understand why many of us around here are so excited about not only the employment opportunities but the numerous new focal retail options for our residents and regional neighbors. The quality of life here in Jonesboro keeps getting better and better--and the mall's presence will add another arrow in our quiver when we go after economic development projects."

Belz and Burrow echo the sentiments of the local readership. "This mall is going to be a big lift to the economic growth in Jonesboro and northeast Arkansas that we expect will continue for years to come," Burrow said. Belz, a principal with Burrow in MBC Holdings, is based in Memphis. The two developers are also partnering with David Hocker & Associates of Owensboro, Ky., on the mall development.

The mall is located at the intersection of Highland Drive and Stadium Boulevard in Jonesboro. Once complete, it will be one of the largest retail developments in Arkansas.

'Main Street'-Style Mall

Burrow said the fully enclosed mall will be among the first in the country to be a mix between a traditional enclosed mall and a newer prototype of lifestyle open-air shopping centers. The 750,000-SF complex will have a "Main Street" presentation with multiple entry points from the parking lot through the doors of the anchor and sub-anchor tenants, a trademark of the lifestyle open-air shopping center trend.

The Mall at Turtle Creek's master-planned development is designed with rich marble flooring and sweeping 30-foot ceilings with transom windows to allow in an abundance of natural light. It will also have a center food court, carousel and children's play area for shoppers to enjoy. For more information, visit the mall's Web site, Shopturtlecreek.com.
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Publication:Arkansas Business
Article Type:Advertisement
Geographic Code:1U7AR
Date:Jul 25, 2005
Words:660
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