Wallace Commons expansion could open in October 2013
By Emily Ford
SALISBURY - Mark your calendars for October 2013, the tentative grand opening date for Salisbury's largest retail development project in more than a decade.
City Council on Tuesday approved the site plan for a 113,000-square-foot addition to Wallace Commons, the Kohl's-anchored shopping center at Julian Road and Interstate 85.
The city's blessing clears the way for the developer to sign leases with four tenants and start work within 90 days, said Derek Jones, acquisitions partner for Hutton Co., based in Chattanooga, Tenn.
"The biggest hurdle was the final site plan approval," Jones said.
He said Hutton will sign leases "in the very near future," but he would not reveal the names of tenants and would not say whether Belk will occupy the proposed 75,000-square-foot department store, marked on plans with a large, blue "B."
The retail giant has been considering a move from the Salisbury Mall to Wallace Commons.
The expansion also will include a second anchor store measuring 17,500 square feet and two smaller retail spaces - both about 10,000 square feet - connecting the existing Kohl's to the new construction.
Council directed the final version of the department store's facade, which could change slightly from what was presented Tuesday, to go before the city's Technical Review Committee for approval.
Hutton plans to build the expansion on vacant land currently owned by Home Depot, which bought the property in 2008 but never built a store there. Jones said Hutton plans to close on the property before the end of the year.
City Council members were thrilled with the project.
"Jobs, jobs, jobs," Councilman William "Pete" Kennedy said.
Councilman Brian Miller said he was pleased someone from outside the community sees Wallace Commons as a "great site and a great place to do business."
Although Jones gave a short spiel to request approval for the site plan, council members joked that he didn't have to do much arm-twisting to win their vote.
"You had me at hello," Miller said.
Contact reporter Emily Ford at 704-797-4264.