EVANSVILLE, IN – Pine Tree Commercial Realty of Lake Bluff, Ill., and GEM Investors of Chicago, owners of the new East Lloyd Commons retail center in Evansville, Ind., announced that Phase I construction has been recently completed for what was once a 170,000 square foot Super K-Mart. The completely redeveloped project is now a 155,000-square-foot mid-box regional strip center that will be fully open by October 15, 2005.
According to Tim Roe, Executive Vice President for Pine Tree, the anchors will open sooner, with Best Buy already in full swing after a big grand opening event on August 26. Michael’s plans to open Sept. 4, and Gordman’s plans to open on Sept. 16. The rest of the project consists of specialty retail and dining.
Roe said that construction for Phase I, which began in early 2005, involved nearly razing the entire Super K-Mart building. “We only retained a couple of walls,” Roe said. “So, it looks very different.” He added that Phase II construction will begin in October for a 19,000 square foot expansion adjacent to Gordman’s on the westernmost end of the center. Of this expansion, 10,000 square feet will be devoted to a national special retail chain that is in final negotiation with Pine Tree. The remaining space will be filled by small specialty shops.
“We are also anticipating the sale of a 1.74-acre outlot on Lloyd Expressway to a national casual dining restaurant chain, which will begin construction in October pending final negotiations,” Roe said. “From the beginning, our intent was to build a second phase after leasing the first phase, which we expected to begin a year out from now. However, with the incredible interest we have received from retailers, we were able to move up the Phase II groundbreaking substantially.”
According to Roe, the project’s location on the northwest corner of Lloyd Expressway and Burkhardt Road is “the new Main & Main of Evansville retail,” he explained. “Lloyd Expressway itself is the nexus of retail, cutting through about 800,000 square feet of big box retail at this intersection — and this was the last corner of it to be developed.” Roe said that before Pine Tree and partner GEM Investors started the project, they knew that Michaels and Best Buy, which both had older, smaller stores in the Green River Road Mall area, were interested in moving to larger spaces in a high traffic location. Once Pine Tree secured these anchors at East Lloyd Commons, the rest of the leasing was relatively easy. In addition, Roe said that “the project gained a lot of support from the community, which was happy to see a vibrant new retail center going up on this site.”
Pine Tree Commercial Realty continues to handle leasing and project management for East Lloyd Commons, while BP Construction Services, a wholly owned subsidiary of Pine Tree, oversees the construction.
Pine Tree Commercial Realty, LLC is a full-service real estate development company headquartered in Lake Bluff, Ill., with branch offices in Indianapolis, Minneapolis, and Kansas City. The company, founded in 1995 by principals Barry Herring and Peter Borzak, is actively involved in the development, acquisition, leasing, and management of retail properties in the Midwestern United States. Pine Tree and its affiliates also provide third party leasing, management, and construction services.