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Retail renaissance under way on city's south side

Hendersonville Mayor Pro Tem Ron Stephens and Chamber of Commerce members look on as store manager Bruce Gatta cuts the ribbon for the new CVS store on South Main Street. Hendersonville Mayor Pro Tem Ron Stephens and Chamber of Commerce members look on as store manager Bruce Gatta cuts the ribbon for the new CVS store on South Main Street.

Two expanded retail stores opened relocations in the past week as part of a retail renaissance on the south side of Hendersonville. Customers flocked into the new Stein Mart beside the Fresh Market and began shopping at a new CVS on South Main Street. A new Ingles superstore to replace the chain's older supermarket at 625 Spartanburg Highway is in the planning stages.

 


City 'will be watching' CVS traffic pattern

Members of the Chamber of Commerce joined local and regional CVS managers for a grand opening on Monday, one day after a soft opening. On Sunday, the CVS store did more business than its usual Sunday total in the old location, said manager Bruce Gatta.
"I'm sure with the increased visibility and accessibility our prescription count will go up," he said. "I know the free-standing store is a model that a lot of our stores are going into. It gives us a lot more services."
Among the new products and services the store features are a drive-thru pharmacy, photo and electronic media department for printing pictures and an expanded grocery department.
"Other than that it's the same you're going to see that's up at Four Seasons Boulevard," district manager David Sanford said.
"We've been through a lot trying to get this store open," Sanford said. Turning to Mayor Pro Tem Ron Stephens, he added, "We appreciate your support in getting it open."
Landowner Boyd "Bub" Hyder and commercial real estate broker Gary Jones fought the city for three years before winning approval of the development plan for the site. The city had resisted the OK for a traffic pattern that allowed left turns into and out of the store. Hyder and CVS's developer finally got approval of the NCDOT. The city's traffic consultant also signed off.
"DOT approved it, and told us that the timing of the light made it safe," Stephens said. "But we will be watching it, and we did put a clause in there that if it turns out not to be safe, we can restrict the left-out, left-in. But we are pretty confident we won't have to do that.
"And we're not only depending on DOT. (The traffic consultant) also approved this. With both of those approvals we thought we should definitely go ahead with this because it's a great improvement over what's been here and their store is obviously much improved and updated."
CVS has six Minute Clinics in Western North Carolina, Sanford said, including one in the Four Seasons Boulevard store. It has no plans currently to add one on South Main Street, although all new CVS stores are built with the floor space to add a clinic. Like the rest of the 7,600 CVS stores, the Hendersonville stores will drop the sale of tobacco products by Oct. 1.
As it opened the new 12,000-square-foot pharmacy, CVS closed units at 623 Spartanburg Highway and 2111 Asheville Highway.


Shoppers flock to new Stein Mart

Shoppers flocked to the new Stein Mart on Thursday and browsed among new lines of men's clothes and housewares in addition to women's clothing.
Store employees and Chamber of Commerce officials cut the ribbon on the new store and welcomed customers who passed under a balloon arch.
"This is our change to a full offering Stein Mart with ladies, men's, homewares, accessories and shoes," said store manager Kathy Southworth. "Our smaller store was was primarily ladies wear only so this now mirrors all of our other stores."
The Jacksonville-based department store chain now has 268 stores; along with the new Hendersonville store it opened new stores Thursday in Las Vegas and suburban Kansas City.
"We're growing into the Northeast slowly but we're very predominant in Florida, Texas, California and the Carolinas."
"We're very excited about it," Southworth said. "Fresh Market makes it a great partnership. The city has been great. The landscaping and parking lot work that the owner did has greatly enhanced the city."
Doubling the floor space from 14,000 to 29,000 square feet and adding the men's clothing and housewares required the store to add 20 employees, for a total of 45. Store hours are 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday through Saturday and noon to 6 p.m. Sunday.
Carey White and a friend were shopping in the women's aisles but had found something White wanted from in housewares.
"We drove all the way up here from Greenville," she said. "We love Stein Mart. We love Hendersonville."
The department store moved from the north side to the south side of the Fresh Market, leaving that 14,000-square-foot space available for lease.
The upgrade of the Southgate Shopping Center included a repaved parking lot, improved drainage and landscaping.


Ingles seeks drainage permit

Ingles moved forward with permitting for the proposed replacement of its existing 46,000-square-foot store at 625 Spartanburg Highway across from the Harris-Teeter.
The Black Mountain-based grocery chain filed an application with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers seeking a permit to construct a 553-foot box culvert on the seven-acre site. The project would replace 253 feet of existing culvert and add 300 feet of enclosed culvert to replace an open drainage canal.
The company plans a 77,427-square-foot supermarket with a full deli and bakery, pharmacy, café and Gas Express station, it said in the Corps of Engineers application. The number of parking spaces would increase from 254 to 277 spaces. Ingles said in its Corps of Engineers application that it had received a variance from the city reducing the requirement by code of 388 spaces. The site plan and variance, however, have not yet been approved by the city of Hendersonville, planning officials said.
Corps of Engineers regulations require Ingles to compensate for "unavoidable stream impacts" with a 1:1 mitigation plan through the NC Ecosystem Enhancement Program.
A civil lawsuit could block Ingles' plans for a superstore.
The Hendersonville City Council in May 2013 granted the chain's request to close segments of Joel Wright Drive and Copper Penny Street that run through the property. Commercial real estate broker Gary Jones, an adjoining property owner, sued to overturn the city's action, arguing that the road closing interferes with his use of his property. Jones's office is on a parcel in front of the Ingles property closer to Spartanburg Highway. The lawsuit is pending in Henderson County Superior Court.
Ingles has not filed any material recently for a site plan approval from the city of Hendersonville, a planning department official said.

If the Ingles project happens, the superstore would add a fourth pharmacy in the Spartanburg Highway-Greenville Highway retail area. Already open are the new CVS, a Rite-Aid and Walgreen's.

AT A GLANCE

CVS Pharmacy

522 S. Main St.
12,000 square feet
Moved from 623 Spartanburg Highway
New features include photo printing, expanded grocery section

Stein Mart
Southgate Shopping Center
Expanded from 14,000 to 29,000 square feet
Added men's wear, housewares and accessories
Added 20 employees

Ingles
625 Spartanburg Highway
Filed application for drainage work for a 77,427-square-foot supermarket with a full deli and bakery, pharmacy, café and Gas Express station
Would replace existing 46,000-square-foot store
Would increase parking space to 277, from 254
Lawsuit over road closing could delay project