A dose of bad but not surprising news: the redevelopment of the old Kroger-helmed shopping center on 15-501 Business next to the one-time South Square Mall where SuperTarget and Sam's Club sits is on ice due to economic conditions.
Shoffner Allison of Charlotte-based Hawthorne Retail Partners blamed the lack of debt financing in the markets as hindering the developer's plan to build a mixed-use retail and apartment complex on the now-moribund strip center, from which even Sitar India Palace moved its mainline operations some months back.
Poppies Gourmet Market of Brevard, NC has committed to the project, and Allison noted that there remains significant retailer interest, for whenever the market allows the project to move forward.
"The current credit environment is making this more challenging," Allison said, "but we are hopeful things will start to come together this year."
"This is not an issue specific to our project but it has impacted the majority of proposed commercial developments across the country," he added.
Incidentally, if you haven't driven by Hawthorne's other Durham project -- the recently completed renovation of the Post Office-anchored strip center further up Shannon Rd. -- take a trip up to take a look at it, or check out the company's before-and-after project web site.
It's a good example of how a tired old development can be attractively renewed... and a sign of what good may come to a shopping center on 15-501 that needs it, once the economy turns around a bit.