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The Roanoke Times | File 2011
Americans For Prosperity opened its regional office in the former Scottrade location in April. A fitness studio is negotiating a lease for a vacant space next to the space intended for a restaurant, said Matt Huff, a leasing agent with Poe & Cronk Real Estate Group.
Sunday, May 26, 2013
A political organization is the first new tenant at Keagy Village under its new ownership, and a fitness studio is expected to open there soon, bringing the southwest Roanoke County shopping center’s tenant count to five.
Americans For Prosperity opened its regional office in the former Scottrade location in April. A fitness studio is negotiating a lease for a vacant space next to the space intended for a restaurant, said Matt Huff, a leasing agent with Poe & Cronk Real Estate Group. Huff did not want to disclose the name of the fitness studio because the lease has not been finalized.
Other tenants include Dunkin Donuts, Firehouse Subs and clothing retailer Patina.
Huff said his first priority is to bring the shopping center an anchor tenant, such as a grocery store or a full-service restaurant.
“We have really good activity on both,” he said.
Huff said he believes the shopping center didn’t attract many tenants under the previous two owners — the developer and the bank that bought the property at foreclosure — because they were not proactive about leasing and rents were higher.
Kahn Development Co. started construction on the 130,000-square-foot shopping center at Keagy Road and Virginia 419 in 2004. The center attracted few tenants and failed to land an anchor . The property went into foreclosure in 2012 and was auctioned to TD Bank, which had financed the center’s construction. The bank then sued the developer for $5.8 million.
Last fall, a North Carolina investor bought the four-building shopping center. Ry Winston, a partner in Collett — a Charlotte-based real estate development, brokerage and management firm — said the project was the victim of bad timing and that he saw a lot of potential because of the location and the demographics in that area.
The center’s location was key for Americans for Prosperity, a conservative nonprofit that advocates economic freedom.
“It made the most sense for convenience,” said Dave Schwartz , state director for the Virginia chapter. “It is close to everything — Roanoke, Roanoke County and Salem.”
AFP’s lease is good through the end of this year, but Schwartz said they like the shopping center and want to stay longer.
“We hope to be there for a longer period of time,” he said.
Seafood merchant closes Salem store
Charlie Counts has decided to close Seafood Charlie’s, the Salem storefront that he opened less than two months ago, and focus on selling his fresh fish at farmers markets.
“It was kind of a bummer that it didn’t work out,” Counts said of the store on Fourth Street.
For two years, Counts has been driving to Surf City Crab seafood market on Topsail Island in North Carolina once a week and bringing back fresh seafood, which he sells at the Roanoke and Grandin farmers markets.
Earlier this year, the Roanoke College graduate decided to expand his business by opening a store.
A few weeks after opening, an inspector for the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services paid a visit. Counts said he was told that he needed to comply with state regulations, such as installing two more sinks and labeling food. He emphasized to his Facebook fans that the agency did not find fault with how the business handled its food.
“We have always kept thermo-meters in our coolers and everyone agrees we keep our fresh seafood at a safe temperature, VDACS included,” Counts wrote on the business’ Facebook page.
VDACS spokeswoman Elaine Lidholm said the same regulations don’t apply to farmers market vendors because food sold at markets needs to be stored for only a short period of time before it is sold.
Counts decided that putting the time and money into complying with the regulations, in addition to the store’s overhead and manpower, was too much.
He has closed the store but said he will continue to sell at the farmers markets until the end of the season in late September or early October.
Counts’ seafood can be found at the Roanoke Farmers Market on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, and on the Grandin Community Market on Saturday.
Auto service center opens in Roanoke County
An automotive service center will open this week in the Roanoke County building that Audiotronics vacated in April.
Star City Tire and Battery Service plans to open Friday on Peters Creek Road, not far from the intersection with Williamson Road.
Audiotronics left the building to move into the former Replay Games and DVD building on Williamson Road in Roanoke County. The new Audiotronics store is expected to open in June.
George Pelton, who owns nearby First Team Auto Mall, is opening Star City Tire and Battery Service, said Kevin Lindsay, the store’s general manager.
Pelton has wanted to get into the after-market retail business because many customers stop going to the car dealership after their warranties expire, Lindsay said.
Star City will offer more than just tire and battery service. Other services include alignments, oil changes, tire rotations, state inspections, brake repair and shock absorber replacement.
The store will carry Interstate batteries, a full selection of tires from Yokohama, Michelin and Bridgestone, and after-market rims, among other items.
Lindsay has worked in the automotive service business for 26 years, doing sales and management at similar stores. He emphasized that he wants the store to be known for its customer service.
“This, to me, is about the hometown operation,” he said.
Friday’s opening will feature Tony Stewart’s Spring Cup race car and trailer, and a Boy Scout cook out, Lindsay said.
A grand opening on June 15 will include a car wash benefiting the Glenvar High School marching band, a fire truck for children to explore, a car seat check and a children’s identification station staffed by Roanoke police officers. Radio station Q 99 will provide entertainment.
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