Baton Rouge firm building new Natchez strip mall

Published 12:00 am Sunday, December 9, 2007

NATCHEZ — While it may not look like much right now, the newly erected steel-frame on U.S. 61 North is about to become Natchez’s newest strip mall.

The shopping center is being built by Kimble Developments based in Baton Rouge.

While Kimble has similar strip-malls built all across Louisiana this will be their first venture in Mississippi.

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Chris Pike an agent with Saurage Commercial Real Estate said the project will be beneficial to the area.

“Investors are really excited about this space,” he said.

Pike said business owners were interested in the new facility as soon as the land was purchased in April.

The new 22,000 square-foot complex will feature First Choice Home Furnishings as its anchor tenant.

Kimble owns the regional furniture chain.

Their location in Natchez will be their first in this region.

Aside from the furniture store Pike said he is unsure what other businesses will lease the remaining 10,000 square feet.

Pike said the rental space can be divided into up to 5 retail spaces.

So far Pike has spoken with representatives from family-style restaurants, cash advance companies and various other retailers.

Tentative renters include new businesses and those seeking a second branch or want to relocate Pike said.

“Anytime you see such a high interest in a new business center it’s a positive sign,” he said.

And those eager new businesses will be able to put down roots fairly quickly.

Pike said construction should be completed around the end of January.

Once construction is complete renters can choose an interior design plan that best suits the needs of their business.

Pike said he expected to be businesses moved in by March.

“We are looking forward to finishing up and leasing,” he said.

And if all goes well with construction and leasing this could be the start of more shopping centers for Natchez, Pike said.

“The area has promise,” he said.

Pike also said he thinks that Kimble’s low cost, no frills building style will draw future business.

“The buildings are well-built at an affordable cost,” he said.

In fact Pike said Kimble’s low cost units are approximately three times less expensive that renting space in a traditional mall.