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New businesses moving in next to Johnson City Wal-Mart

JEFF KEELING • Feb 15, 2007 at 6:57 AM

JOHNSON CITY - More than half the retail space being developed next to the new Wal-Mart Supercenter on West Market Street in Johnson City has prospective tenants already, including a Cato women's clothing store, a shoe retailer and a game store.

"We should be through the first of June with the shopping center, and most of the businesses should be able to open by September," Trinity Development co-owner Harry Call said Thursday from his Knoxville office.

Call and partner Marc Smith developed the site for Wal-Mart at 2915 W. Market, and Call said the topography was such that the other retail work had to wait until Wal-Mart was complete.

The supercenter opened Jan. 22.

"We're very pleased with our relationship with the city and what we've been able to do there," Call said. "This was an extraordinarily difficult site to develop."

The additional retail space totals 40,760 square feet in two contiguous buildings, and Call said Trinity has commitments on 27,660 square feet of that.

In addition to Cato, committed tenants include Shoe Show, a Kannapolis, N.C.-based retailer; GameStop, a video game retailer; Check n' Go, a cash advance business; Sally Beauty supply; Dollar Tree; and Gondolier Restaurant, an Italian/pizza chain.

GameStop, Sally Beauty and Dollar Tree all have current Johnson City locations. Shoe Show's nearest store is in Morristown, Gondolier's is in Sevierville and Check n' Go's is in Bristol, Va.

Cato has stores in Elizabethton and Bristol, Va. Communications Manager Kerry Walter said the chain opened about 60 stores in 2006 and operates more than 1,000, usually in spaces of 3,500 to 6,000 square feet. Walter said the chain carries its own line of private label women's and girls clothes, carries items for all occasions, and also has shoes and accessories.

Trinity also owns a 2-acre outparcel that Call said could be "ground leased" to a restaurant or sold outright.

"About 1.6 acres of that is buildable now, and the entire 2 acres would be buildable with the addition of a small retaining wall," Call said.

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