Said to be the first lifestyle shopping center in the U.S., the Shops of Saddle Creek will soon complete its multimillion-dollar expansion and renovation.
Trademark Property Co., property manager for Saddle Creek, announced initial plans to update the circa-1987 shops in 2013. Fast forward to the present, and the project is expected to be finished in the first quarter of 2017.
“In the retail development and property business, it is either evolve or die,” said Terry Montesi, CEO of Trademark Property Co. “That property hadn’t evolved for 29 years. … Almost 30 years is way longer than is appropriate and healthy for a retail place. It was in, we felt like, dire need for evolution and refresh.”
That “refresh” has meant tearing down a two-story building on the southwest side of Poplar Avenue and West Street and replacing it with 20,000 square feet of new retail/restaurant bays on both the south and north portions of the shopping center. Improvements were made to the buildings’ exteriors, and 5,000 square feet of retail space was added to Saddle Creek North.
Not yet finished are items such as new signage, landscaping and other exterior upgrades to Saddle Creek North.
“We really wanted to put Saddle Creek in a position to once again become the dominate lifestyle and specialty retail concentration in the greater Memphis trade area,” Montesi said. “That was the goal.”
According to the company, since 2014, Trademark Property Co. has signed 18 new tenants — 12 new to market — to the center for a total of 57,000 square feet.
A few of the new-to-market tenants include Kendra Scott, Sur La Table and Soft Surroundings.
The center has seen a few notable brands like Coach and Kate Spade vacate, but Montesi said every retail center across the country has tenants come and go.
“Coach and Kate Spade — the folks that have not performed well at Saddle Creek — have been the folks that are losing their relevancy nationally,” Montesi said. “It was rarely a micro-situation.”
While exact figures were not provided, Montesi said sales have already started to rise since the improvements, which he said will have a positive impact on the community via an increase in sales tax.
“It is going to be a success for the retailer and a success for the owner and a success for the community,” Montesi said.
Fort Worth, Texas-based Trademark Property Co. has managed Saddle Creek since 2011.