Growth usually stands on three pillars: residential, office and retail.
With the corporate hub of the region booming in Cool Springs, and residential subdivisions being built out of the ground all over the unincorporated county, the headlines tend to relegate retail to third place.
In recent years the mixed-use development, which incorporates all three, has gained popularity among developers. With expensive land prices and changing behaviors in the population, the compact live-work-play concept behind mixed-use spaces makes sense.
A look at retail projects in the county necessarily includes mixed-use developments. However, there are some retail-only projects on the horizon.
The first is also the newest:
The Crossroads at Cool Springs
East of Interstate 65, at the northwest corner of Liberty Pike and Carothers Parkway.
SouthStar LLC, the catalyst behind the Ovation mixed-use development and current developer of the LifeTime Fitness center, which is on the same intersection, is working to close on nearly 20 acres to create The Crossroads at Cool Springs.
If the sale goes through, SouthStar LLC plans to put up to 180,000 square feet of retail there. Rob Foss, a retail broker and principal at Avison Young, is working for the development company to bring in tenants.
“We are looking for anchor tenants, that either are in Cool Springs and need to expand or who are not in Cool Springs and need a location there,” Foss said.
“You definitely have an intent of what type of tenants you are looking for, and retailers have a herd mentality. If you can get one or two key tenants, like a Costco or a Target, then you will be much more likely to get other tenants. You get one or two, you get four or five.”
Crossroads at Carothers would have room for several anchors of varying sizes, according to Foss.
180,000 square feet is hard to visualize, but an anchor tenant- like TJ Maxx, Ross, Best Buy and Publix, to name some of Foss’ examples- take up anywhere from 25,000 to 45,000 square feet.
From there, space would be left over for junior anchors, such as a PetCo- at about 12,000 square feet- and then the remaining space would go to a variety of smaller shops, which could be built on spec if the anchors are already established, and potentially restaurants in stand-alone buildings,
“You might have 40,000 square feet of shop space left and several outparcel tenants, such as restaurants, and that kind of thing,” Foss said.
SouthStar LLC will let the form follow the function in design, which will begin to take shape once Foss finds the first, key tenants.
The project, which could open in phases starting in the third quarter of 2017 or else the first or second quarter of 2018, will bring major, anchor retail to Cool Springs for the first time in years.
“Cool Springs hasn’t had any retail space that could have an anchor added to it for a long time and it is not due to lack of demand,” said Foss. “It is due to lack of good retail projects that have been available.”
The project is about a mile south of Carothers’ intersection with McEwen, where the SouthStar-originated Ovation will go up diagonally across Carothers from Pat Emery’s five-tower office project, Franklin Park .
Ovation, the 145-acre project with 500,000 square feet of proposed retail, is a different beast than The Crossroads at Carothers.
“Ovation is very large, but it is not going after the more garden-variety tenant- they are being more specialty,” said Foss. “That is great and more retail on the east side of the interstate will beget more retail. Retail likes to be around other retail. But we are going to be complementary, not competitive with Ovation.”
In the area, SouthStar also has room for 48,000 square feet of retail and office space at the LifeTimes site, and is zoned for 450 residential units at a site adjacent to that.
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