October 5, 2005 – Posted at 4:52 p.m. CDT
JONESBORO, AR -- Grab your checkbook and load up the kids! Things are moving right on schedule at the Mall at Turtle Creek in Jonesboro.
As customers flock to the newly opened Target and J.C. Penney's, many folks are wondering what else will fill the 750,000 square feet of the $100-million regional mall.
Anchored by Dillard’s, J.C. Penney and Target, The Mall at Turtle Creek development will be the only regional mall to open in the United States next year. Sub-anchors will include Barnes & Noble, Bed, Bath & Beyond and Circuit City.
“Exciting doesn't even fit. It’s not a big enough word. I think people will be overwhelmed once this news gets out. It’s just huge, I like to say it's all happening,” said marketing director Christy Veara.
More than 50 new stores and restaurants were announced Wednesday for the Mall at Turtle Creek. From shops like Ann Taylor Loft to Victoria 's Secret, and restaurants from Chili's to Shorty Smalls, there will be plenty of variety in Region 8.
“We've got another group coming shortly. our leasing is coming very well, we have about 85% leased. and by the time we open, that number may get all the way up to 95-100%, which is very unusual,” said Bruce Burrow of Belz-Burrow Development Group.
And shoppers will be able to hit the ground running next spring with 111 stores. Dillard's is slated to open March 20th, and the mall will have its grand opening on March 29th.
“We want to bend over backwards to make this the place to shop, as some people have said, the shopping Mecca,” said Veara.
Burrow said, “We think we will probably pick up a $100 million dollars that flow out of northeast Arkansas and southeast Missouri to Memphis right now. That’s about an $8 million dollar sales tax gain for the state.”
And of course, the most important stores in the mall were the first to be filled...
“We want to make sure we got the food guys first, because I've got to eat in about an hour,” laughed Burrow, “We do have a lot of great venues, and our food court will seat about 450 people.”
The second wave of stores committed to coming will be announced in about 90 days.