Four new stores and two new restaurants top Hammond Square’s plans for 2019, as the state’s second largest open air retail center prepares to grow once again in the coming year.
Grady Brame, executive vice-president for Stirling Properties (the company which owns the Hammond Square property), told the Hammond-Ponchatoula Sunrise Rotary on Tuesday that specific names and leasing announcements are forthcoming—and they could be public before the 2018 calendar year comes to a close!
Brame painted a positive picture of things to come at the more than 800,000 square foot former mall property which was purchased by his company in 2005 and redeveloped during the period between 2007-2009. Part of the Hammond Square redevelopment from its inception, Brame said the property will see additional changes in 2019, spurred in part by the closure of the Sears store early next month.
Developers plan to demolish the Sears location, which was part of the original Hammond Square “mall” of the 1970s, and reconfigure the layout so that future storefronts would face either I-12 or US 51.
Those future storefronts could be operational by first quarter 2020, and Brame said his team is already counting five, maybe even six retailers who are interested in the location. Brame described these as potential tenants “who have been successful in an Amazon world,” and noted that developers may need to tear down the now-closed Rite-Aid store to complete the build out. That would create a new portion of the shopping center with approximately 86,000 to upwards of 92,000 square feet of new retailers and likely two new restaurants to add even drive to the economic engine within the next 15-18 months.
Brame estimates the latest redevelopment will represent a $15 million investment in the shopping center, which delighted Tangipahoa Parish President Robby Miller, who was on hand for the presentation at Tuesday’s breakfast meeting.
Those estimates do not include Old Navy, which is already in the works for Hammond Square and should be open in the first half of 2019.
When asked about Hammond as a destination for major retail, Brame said Hammond Square’s tenants have been pleased with their sales receipts. He said big box stores like Target have been more than satisfied with their performance in Hammond, and while Hammond once believed its demographics were not good enough to attract big retailers, that’s not necessarily the case for all prospects.
“The good news is our demographics have gotten better,” Brame said, noting that stores like Target “don’t go just anywhere.”
“We may not be Old Metairie, but we’re still a very viable area,” Brame said.