published Thursday, March 13th, 2014

CBL plans Hobby Lobby, Petco for Fort Oglethorpe shopping center next to Walmart

  • photo
    A vacant lot is near the Walmart on Highway 2A in Fort Oglethorpe.
    Photo by Angela Lewis.
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Marshall's, Hobby Lobby, Petco, Ross Dress for Less and a Rack Room Shoes are the retailers that will open in the spring of 2015 on Battlefield Parkway next to the Fort Oglethorpe Walmart.

CBL & Associates, the Chattanooga-based company that owns and opens malls around the country, announced the retail lineup on Wednesday at the new shopping center dubbed "Parkway Plaza."

"This was an exciting opportunity to develop another great center close to home," CBL Executive Vice President Michael Lebovitz said in a statement Wednesday. "Parkway Plaza is well-located, and its retail lineup will add attractive choices to this highly trafficked retail corridor."

Construction will begin in June and the development is projected to open in about a year. Ninety percent of the 134,100-square-foot project is already leased.

Taxpayers in Fort Oglethorpe and Catoosa County helped pay for the entrance to the new shopping mall. The city and the county development authority voted to spend $350,000, each, for a total of $700,000, to build a new intersection and traffic signal on Battlefield Parkway just west of Kellerhals Lane leading into the site.

The city and county made that agreement with developer Larry Armour, the former CBL executive who brought Cloud Springs Road Costco to Fort Oglethorpe and is bringing a Cabela's hunting and fishing outdoors superstore near Costco that's due to open in fall 2015.

Armour promised that if, after seven years, sales and property taxes from the development don't generate at least $750,000 for the city and county, he'll make up the difference.

Armour said he bought the property next to Walmart a little more than a year ago and has imported over 8,000 truckloads of fill material to get the site ready for development.

He sold the roughly 16-acre Parkway Plaza site in the past week to CBL & Associates Properties, Inc.

"We will continue to work on the property to get the site ready," Armour said via email. "I feel very comfortable with CBL developing this shopping center, I have done 50 or 60 site acquisitions with them in my career and know they will build a high-quality center at this location."

"This acquisition by CBL frees me up so I can concentrate on the development [of] the newly planned Cabela's store," Armour said.

The Parkway Plaza shopping center will be set back from Battlefield Parkway, next to the Walmart.

Armour plans to develop additional stores and restaurants at the site on either side of the road that will lead to Parkway Plaza and on the north side of Battlefield Parkway, where Armour also owns land in front of the Crye-Leike Center.

"That gives us the ability to develop four incredible corners at a traffic light," Armour said. "One is already under contract and we're negotiating on a couple of others."

Fort Oglethorpe Mayor Lynn Long thinks Parkway Plaza will be a good project for the city.

"Larry Armour, he's done a good job for Fort Oglethorpe. He's bought a lot of good projects in here," Long said.

Contact staff writer Tim Omarzu at tomarzu@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6651.

about Tim Omarzu...

Tim Omarzu covers education for the Times Free Press. Omarzu is a longtime journalist who has worked as a reporter and editor at daily and weekly newspapers in Michigan, Nevada and California.

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