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Agreement moves retail development forward: Shopping complex nears realityAgreement moves retail development forward: Shopping complex nears reality
By: Mary Meadows - mary.meadows@pikevillehospital.org, Staff Writer
Published: 11/18/2011

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PIKEVILLE COMMONS: With the cooperation of the city of Pikeville, the U.S. Postal Service and a developer, this shopping center complex, “Pikeville Commons,” is expected to attract dozens of new businesses to Thompson Road. Details outlined in the graph are tentative, as businesses are being recruited for the shopping complex, but city officials report that retail tenants have signed up to move into almost every parcel that’s highlighted in red on the graph.
PIKEVILLE — Plans to expand the retail setting in Pikeville is gaining steam.

During a Nov. 14 meeting, city commissioners approved an agreement between the city, the U.S. Post Office and Neil Wilson of KY Pikeville Thompson, LLC. They also approved the sale of approximately five acres of property on Thompson Road currently occupied by the U.S. Postal Service’s Distribution Center to Wilson’s RealtyLink Investments, LLC.

The company is paying the $150,000 per usable acre for the property and Wilson’s company is recruiting nationally-known companies to move into the new shopping center, which is named “Pikeville Commons” in the agreement.

The deal will pave the way to bring more than one dozen nationally-known businesses into Pikeville Commons, which will surround the newly-constructed Texas Roadhouse restaurant and neighbor the back side of Walmart on Thompson Road

City Manager Donovan Blackburn reported that the U.S. Post Office will move from its current Thompson Road location to another 9,500 square-foot facility that it will lease from the city in the complex. He reported that the Post Office’s move will open up between 250,000- and 300,000-square feet of additional retail space to accommodate businesses that will bring between 400 to 600 jobs into Pikeville.

Blackburn said that the design of the shopping center is still “in the works,” but he shared a graph of the “projected design” during the meeting. There were at least 15 parcels of property highlighted on the graph.

“We’ve been on a road for about the last year and a half with Mr. Wilson, who is a very prestigious builder.” Blackburn said, explaining that Wilson has built stores for large corporations across the nation.

“I can say that he already has half of the facilities already committed, with deals that he’s working on to fill up the remaining facilities,” he said. “Pretty much almost every facility that you see highlighted either has a tenant already that’s submitted a letter of intent or has somebody that he’s working to solidify his deal.”

City officials have worked for years to bring expanded retail development on Thompson Road, a process that began long before the city commission invested funds to widen the road to improve safety and provide easier access to retail stores.

This latest action taken toward the effort is made possible by the cooperation of the U.S. Postal Service.

“This is something that we’ve been working on for years, and it looks like it’s going to happen,” Commissioner Jimmy Carter said. “I don’t like to count our chickens before they hatch, but it’s looking a lot more promising, now that the post office is on board. I’m looking forward to moving forward with this very quickly.”

The new shopping center complex may, in fact, develop quickly.

Blackburn reported that Wilson traveled to Georgia on Nov. 15 to “sell” the development project in Pikeville to retail leaders at a national conference. The city is under a confidentiality agreement with certain retailers that have already pledged to move onto Thompson Road.

“This is an opportunity that’s not only creating new jobs, but creating nationally-recognized brand names that will enhance our community, making this a destination location for shopping,” Blackburn said. “We have already become that for medical, for legal, for entertainment, and I could go on.”

Commissioners are excited about the project.

“This gives us another opportunity to market ourselves even better, with nationally-recognized stores,” Commissioner Barry Chaney said. “It’s a great opportunity for us and it will be good for us.”

Commissioner Dallas Layne commended Blackburn for his effort and work on the project.

Blackburn, in turn, thanked Layne and commissioners for their leadership, vision and willingness to move the community forward.

This project announcement comes at a time when there’s already $200 million in construction projects occurring within city limits.

Those projects include the construction of a new facility for the Pikeville Medical Center’s office building and parking garage, University of Pikeville’s Kentucky School of Osteopathic Medicine, the Pike County Judicial Center and a new hotel which will break ground in 2012.

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