Main St. targeted for more retail

Published 12:00 am Sunday, January 30, 2005

Suffolk News-Herald

Construction of a new strip center of specialty shops along the North Main Street corridor could begin this summer.

Robert Brown & Associates, a Norfolk-based family-owned development company, has a contract on the former Pruden Packing Co., a seven-acre site at 1201 N. Main St. owned by Smithfield Foods.

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The developer is planning to raze the existing building, making way for a 15,000-square-foot shopping center that will create space for between eight and 10 specialty retail shops, said Brad Brown, spokesman for Robert Brown & Associates.

Within the next couple of months, as soon as his company seals its deal with Smithfield Foods, Brown expects to begin signing leases with prospective businesses.

&uot;We’re looking to begin construction in May or June,&uot; Brown said. &uot;We’ve gotten a lot of interest from restaurants, national retailers and service-oriented businesses.

&uot;Although we’ve had interest from a whole spectrum of business, we try to make the best picks for the community.&uot;

Brown & Associates owns retail property throughout Hampton Roads, including York County, Norfolk, Virginia Beach, Newport News and Hampton.

Although the downtown Suffolk project will be the company’s first investment in this city, Brown said he doesn’t expect it will be the last.

&uot;We just feel like it’s a good location with all that is going on around it,&uot; Brown said.

&uot;With the neighboring shopping center on one side, Wal-Mart Supercenter and Lowe’s across the street and the hotel coming on board, downtown Suffolk is a good place to be right now.

&uot;We are always keeping our eyes open for a good opportunity,&uot; he continued. &uot;As Suffolk continues to grow, we may take advantage of other opportunities that become available.&uot;