2009-10-30 / Front Page

The new Trenholm Plaza... where people connect with each other

By Cathy Cobbs

Photo by Pam Edwards The new look outside the U.S. Post Office in Trenholm Plaza Photo by Pam Edwards The new look outside the U.S. Post Office in Trenholm Plaza Despite Columbia’s dreary economic times, retail life is sunny side up at Trenholm Plaza.

The second phase of the 187,407–square feet center is well underway. New tenants are being announced on a regular basis, including JoS. A Bank Clothiers and Chipolte Mexican Grill, and the shopping center seems to be thriving during times when other shopping centers are rapidly losing merchants.

“Our decision to redevelop the building in place allows us to cast a wide net in terms of attracting retailers that fulfill our vision of making Trenholm Plaza the connecting point for the community,” said Lyle Darnall, managing director at Edens & Avant, the company that owns Trenholm Plaza. “We can cater to retailers looking for a small space, and we can accommodate larger shops, with a good mix of local and national tenants.”

Photo by Pam Edwards The new Trenholm Plaza has benches in many places. Photo by Pam Edwards The new Trenholm Plaza has benches in many places. Chipolte will be moving into the center’s outparcel that is currently under renovation, while JoS. A. Bank will open its 4,200 square–foot clothing store into the middle of the main center in November, according to company officials. Trenholm Plaza will be JoS. A. Bank’s second location in the market and the first in–town location for the retailer.

The outparcel renovation will include custommade lighting fixtures, decorative pavers, and new seating areas, all elements that Darnell said will make the center more attractive to the community.

“Our vision for Trenholm Plaza is to solidify the center as an anchor for the community where people connect with each other,” he said. “We see it as a place that fosters social interaction through the restaurants, shops and well–thought out space – such as benches and fountains – designed for this purpose.

A fountain at Trenholm Plaza Photo by Pam Edwards A fountain at Trenholm Plaza Photo by Pam Edwards “The response we’ve received so far to changes at Trenholm Plaza has been tremendous, and we look forward to additional changes as phase II of the redevelopment continues,” Darnell added.

Right now, Hooligan’s Deli is the only business open in the outparcel section of the center, and loyal customers must maneuver past a variety of heavy equipment and fencing in order to gain access to the busy eatery. Signs adorn the restaurant proclaiming that it’s still open during construction, but observers say it has to be hurting business.

“Just getting in and out of Hooligan’s is a nightmare,” said longtime resident Ginger Clairmont, who used to eat lunch regularly at the deli. “I feel sorry for the owners who are trying to work through all the construction.”

Clairmont said she also feels inconvenienced by the ever–changing ingress and egress to the shopping center.

“Today I tried to put a letter in the drive–through mailbox lane, but the construction made it impossible to get there,” she said. “It was a real nuisance to try to find a parking place and walk my letter over.”

This too, shall pass, according to the center’s owners, who project that the construction on the outparcel will be complete by the end of the year.

New tenants will include Bumble Boutique/ B.E.E. Maternal, which has opened a temporary location adjacent to Starbucks. The specialty retailer of children’s clothing and maternity wear will move to a permanent location adjacent to Hooligan’s once construction of that building is complete.

Major retailers in the center include Publix, Fresh Market, Books–A– Million, SteinMart, and Rosso Trattoria. Edens & Avant officials say that an announcement regarding a new tenant will be released in the next week.

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