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Editorial: Retail activity is encouraging

Posted: October 22, 2018 2:56 p.m.
Updated: October 23, 2018 1:00 a.m.

We are pleased to see progress already in motion at River Oaks Shopping Center in Camden, the site of the former Kmart store that closed in 2016.

A building permit was recently filed, to the tune of $3.4 million, with the city of Camden by DBS Corporation of Chattanooga, Tenn. The permit description calls for “exterior renovations,” but basically what that means is the former Kmart will be on the receiving end of a multi-million dollar facelift. This will include new water, sewer and electrical infrastructure, significant improvements to the entire façade of the building, improvements to the former garden center space and additional retail space.

In addition, DBS filed an $840,000 permit to build a new 8,400 square foot outparcel on the property.

At the moment, we know Hobby Lobby and Marshalls are coming and Big Lots and Citi-Trends seem to be staying; all have signed leases for spaces in that building.

But what is especially important and encouraging, after years of economic stagnation at all levels, is seeing such significant increases in retail activity and such strong levels of investment in our community, especially in the last few years. This is all very good news.

Hopefully, successes at River Oaks and across the street at Springdale Plaza will encourage, even kick-start, similar action and investment in other areas that desperately need it -- such as the former Bi-Lo Shopping Center in Camden.

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