Retail mix slated for Godwin

Published 12:00 am Saturday, July 2, 2005

Godwin Boulevard has been a sleeping giant for years.

&uot;It’s finally waking up,&uot; said Gil Holt, a principal with Tetra Co., the developer of Centerbrooke Village.

After months of moving dirt, contractors have finally broken ground of the first of a string of businesses and offices that will be springing up on 50 acres across from Obici Hospital over the next two years.

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Over the three to six months, passersby will see two restaurants-a Wendy’s and a Ruby Tuesday -open on the property.

Construction on a 12,600-square-foot shopping center that will house nine businesses will be finished by the year’s end, Holt said. Most of those sites have already been leased, bringing a Subway, nail salon, Mexican and Chinese restaurants and a coffee shop.

Construction will begin on a second shopping center with nine retail spaces in early 2006.

A Raleigh-based company is poised to begin building a 100-room Comfort Suite Hotel in coming months, Holt said.

A professional office park catering to medical-related businesses is also slated to be built on the property, Holt said. The 18 office condos will be in three separate buildings.

Several major franchises, including Outback, the Texas Steak House and Starbucks, are looking at outer parcels surrounding the shopping centers, Holt said.

The fact that national chains are locating in the Godwin Boulevard area-one of two designated high growth corridors in the city -speaks well for the project and the city.

&uot;National chains don’t make a decision to go somewhere without due diligence,&uot; Holt said. &uot;Those people don’t look at a site unless the numbers are there to support it.

&uot;The majority of larger parcels are being sold to national-type clients. That, in turn, pulls in more local clients.&uot;

Centerbrooke’s close proximity to Obici Hospital-which opened on the other side of Godwin Boulevard about three years ago-has been key to wooing the national businesses, said John Litz, senior vice president of S.L. Nusbaum Realty Co.

&uot;It means the residential growth in the area is finally becoming dense enough to justify attention from major national businesses,&uot; he said. &uot;Obici Hospital has contributed heavily to the project’s success.&uot;

Holt agreed.

&uot;If hospital was not there, we would not be seeing the same type of sizzle we are now experiencing,&uot; he said.

&uot;The hospital is key because of all the peripheral-type businesses the hospital is attracting.&uot;