The Stanly News and Press (Albemarle, NC)


February 4, 2013

Villages has 3 new tenants, awaits more

Monday, February 4, 2013 — It’s easy to figure out where almost everything happens in Locust.

The Village at Red Bridge shopping center is easily the busiest place in the small but growing Stanly County town. With two of the nation’s busiest retail outlets — Walmart and McDonald’s — the area sees an estimated 19,000 people on a given day, according to WRS Inc. Real Estate Investments, which owns the location.

Walmart anchors the 181,700-square-foot power center and was the driving force behind the location, which was built from the ground up and opened in 2011. McDonald’s moved out of its location on the other side of town and joined the outlet to form a big one-two punch that immediately attracted shoppers of all ages.

And it hasn’t stopped there. Verizon soon opened a location and Andy’s, one of the most successful sit-down fast food restaurants in North Carolina, followed. And that’s led to a recent surge in new businesses since September.

Great Clips joined the mix of retailers with a store that opened on Sept. 19. Pizza and Beyond, a popular pizza place that was located at one time less than five minutes from Red Bridge, opened the week after Thanksgiving. On Dec. 11, El Vaquero Mexican Kitchen replaced a Japanese restaurant that closed its doors back in early fall.

“Typically shopping centers have healthier tenants anchored around the center, whether it’s a grocery store or something in-between,” said Jude Crayton, Broker-In-Charge with WRS.

“Walmart, we are fortunate to do business with those guys. You’ll get people who will travel further because it’s a one-stop spot for a lot of items. For the other businesses, the hope is it creates cross-shopping. We continue to try to bring as diverse an amount of tenants as we can.”

Crayton said the company has been seeking other new tenants to fill the six spaces currently available within the two side buildings. Each location is between 1,200-1,600 square feet. WPS also has aspirations for two outparcel locations that would add new buildings to 1.49 acres and 1.52 acres of undeveloped land on the premises.

“This time, we don’t have anybody on the horizon,” Crayton said.

“One of the challenges with Locust is it sits between Albemarle and Charlotte. National tenants, they drive through the Midland and Locust area and on (Hwy.) 24-27, it’s easy for people to say there’s no business here. But that’s not the case.

“One of the things we’ll continue to do is contact local brokers and national chains and go cold-call and knock on doors in places like Albemarle and Concord to see if those businesses there would like to open a new location at Red Bridge. A few people have been kicking the tires, but nothing worth reporting at this time.”

Ask the three newest businesses at Red Bridge and they’re glad they’ve made the decision to open in the shopping center. In each case, they believe it was the right decision and will be a benefit sooner rather than later.

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