When consumers converge on Mullins Crossing shopping center next month, they'll see more than a new Target, Kohl's and Chick-fil-A.
Alongside the new shops will sit dirt, cement and bulldozers ready to roll for the next round of business at the Columbia County shopping strip.
Target, Kohl's and Chick-fil-A are all scheduled to open at the beginning of October in the $40 million retail complex at Washington and Owens roads.
Target's official grand opening will be Oct. 9, but it will have a "soft opening" Oct. 5. A soft opening lets businesses start operations before the grand opening to make sure everything is ready. Kohl's will open Oct. 6, and Chick-fil-A and Babies "R" Us are expected to open in the days following.
"There's a lot of activity," Columbia County Building Official Richard Harmon said. "It's the midnight hour."
The second phase is just dawning, with preliminary construction under way and an ongoing search for occupants.
Though PETCO, Marshalls, La-Z-Boy, OfficeMax and Ross Dress For Less have signed on, there is still space available.
Interested parties include: Panera Bread, Starbucks, Great Wraps and Moe's Southwest Grill, which would sit in outparceled lots.
Mullins Land Co. is developing the strip, which comprises more than 440,000 square feet of retail expected be a major draw in the region's fastest-growing area.
"Columbia County will respond," President Frank Mullins said.
The first phase of the shopping center took about 18 months to build, and the second phase is likely to be complete by spring.
The shopping center is named for Mr. Mullins' father.
"We wanted to remember him with the property," said Mr. Mullins, who along with four siblings inherited the 145-acre Pine Needle Ranch property.
Even after this shopping strip, there is still ample room for more development, which Mr. Mullins said could include high-density housing and more retail.
"I thing this is going to be a very good place to own real estate for a long time," he said.
Reach Tony Lombardo at (706) 823-3227 or firstname.lastname@example.org.