A local developer this week announced five new stores that are planned for the Phoenix Center II retail shopping center off Highway 100 in Washington.
Washington developer Joe Vernaci said Wednesday that the new stores will be Ross Dress for Less, Dress Barn, Ulta Cosmetics, Marshalls and Jo-Ann Fabric.
Construction should begin in about two weeks.
All of the stores except Ross are scheduled to open in the late summer or fall of this year. Ross is scheduled to open in spring of 2014.
He expects the community will welcome the addition of more shopping options.
“They will be a very desirable addition to the shopping center and area,” Vernaci said, adding that the new stores are popular.
In addition, Vernaci also announced that a frozen yogurt business will move into an existing building in Phoenix Center II next to GNC.
The business called, Orange Leaf, will be a locally owned franchise, Vernaci said, adding that it could be open in the early spring.
Vernaci noted that the new stores will keep some people from traveling to St. Louis for shopping.
Likewise, the new stores will draw more people to Washington to shop, which benefits the local tax base, he said.
The development already brings in hundreds of thousands of dollars from property tax and sales tax each year, he said.
Vernaci remains in talks with two other retailers that may locate in the center.
The shopping center expansion will be 90,000 square feet, and of that the five stores he announced Wednesday would occupy 82,000 square feet.
A rough estimate is that every 1,000 square feet will bring one job, so the expansion could create about 90 jobs, he said.
The center, which includes Kohl’s and Target, already has 275,000 square feet of buildings.
The estimated cost to construct the new buildings is $4 million to $5 million, according to the city of Washington Building Department.
The new stores will be south of Kohl’s on an 11.6-acre site.
Vernaci has been in negotiations for about 15 months for the long-term leases of the five new stores.
After the expansion is completed, the Phoenix Center II development will still have 24 acres available. It is difficult to say when the remaining land could be developed, Vernaci said.
Washington is fortunate to be getting such a large retail boost, Vernaci said, noting that it is unusual for a community to get five new large retailers coming in at the same time.
With a strong mix of retailers in Phoenix Center II it could help attract other businesses to the development, Vernaci said.
“It’s a first-class shopping center,” Vernaci asserted, adding that he thinks the addition of the five stores is a sign that the economy is improving.