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Vidalia businessman is making the old new again

Concordia Square Shopping Center co-owner Stephen Weeks redeveloped more than half of the shopping center with a medical center, left, that will house Fresenius Medical Center and the Agabe Café, which is moving into the old China Buffet location. The next step is developing the former location of Fred’s, right.  (Sam Gause/The Natchez Democrat)

Concordia Square Shopping Center co-owner Stephen Weeks redeveloped more than half of the shopping center with a medical center, left, that will house Fresenius Medical Center and the Agabe Café, which is moving into the old China Buffet location. The next step is developing the former location of Fred’s, right. (Sam Gause/The Natchez Democrat)

VIDALIA — A local businessman is looking to revamp 25 acres of commercial property on Carter Street, including a medical center, new restaurant and an events venue.

That effort thus far has included a $3.5 million investment at the Concordia Square Shopping Center near the intersection of Carter Street and Nicols Drive.

Concordia Square Shopping Center co-owner Stephen Weeks said the shopping center has been in his family for the last four years.

“We are trying to bring it back, and we’re getting close,” Weeks said. “Our ultimate goal is to fill the entire spot up.”

The shopping center most recently housed Fred’s and China Buffet, but since the closure of Fred’s earlier this year has been empty.

But that will soon change with the impending move of Fresenius Medical Center from Ferriday to Vidalia, which will relocate into a space in the center that has been empty for some time.

Fresenius — a medical facility for kidney dialysis patients — will take up half of the middle building in the shopping center, which has been revamped and modified to meet medical codes and attract more businesses.

“They have leased the building and it’s ready to occupy,” Weeks said.

A move-in date for Fresenius Medical Center has not been set as of yet, but Weeks said Fresenius will serve as the backbone of the shopping center.

“The lease to them will allow us to meet our goal by one day remodeling the entire shopping center,” Weeks said.

The kidney operations at Fresenius Medical Center will take up about 8,000 square feet. The remaining space of the new Fresenius Medical Center will house medical and doctor offices.

While the biggest changes to the building have been to the interior, the outside has gotten a facelift as well, making the former commercial space look more like a medical facility, and adding an overhang under which patients can drive their vehicles in the rain.

But while Ferensius will serve as the anchor for the center, Weeks said the other properties will host businesses other than medical clinics and are also undergoing renovations.

The former site of the Chinese restaurant will soon be the home of Agabe Café, a new Mexican restaurant, he said.

The former Fred’s property will also be remolded, but currently has no commitment for any specific new business.

“The two buildings have been re-roofed, re-aired and re-walled,” Weeks said. “The only thing left for the two buildings is to put a facial on.”

The shopping center is part of 25 acres of land the Weeks family aims to develop on Carter Street, which currently include the shopping center, Jerry’s Donut Shop and Week’s Furniture.

“This is an investment,” Weeks said. “I grew up as a business person and it always was in me to buy and fix up certain properties.”

The newest addition to the Weeks catalogue of property is the former Apostolic Life Tabernacle on Carter Street.

Once the necessary renovations to the church building are complete, Weeks said it will become The Gables, a venue for area residents to rent the building for parties and events.

Those who wish to rent space within the shopping center can call Weeks Properties at 318-336-5044.