Saturday, September 12, 2015

Olive Branch Crossing Construction

Today's post highlights DeSoto County, MS, retail.

Well, after another one month off from blogging (seems to be becoming a habit...), I'm back again! I have posts in store for the next two months as well, so don't worry ;) Anyway, today I'm going to do something I've been building up to for quite some time now: since April, in fact!

Across from the 2008-built "new Target" to Horn Lake's old, this year Olive Branch has been seeing yet another new retail development: Olive Branch Crossing. The center, featuring Academy Sports and Outdoors, Hobby Lobby, and Five Below - all new to DeSoto County - has been under construction for nearly five months now, and, after all that work, is anticipating grand openings of its two anchor stores next weekend. This weekend, I hope you'll join me in taking a look at Olive Branch Crossing's journey to this point!

The center is said to be at the corner of Pleasant Hill and Goodman Roads in Olive Branch: but that's not 100% true! The corner itself is actually home to an established church and graveyard, which sits up on a hill; the land had to be leveled downward to fit the center. You can see the peak of Academy in the background.
These first pictures are from April 25th, 2015. Here you see Academy from the road - and I'd like to apologize now for the window glare you'll be seeing in many of these shots!
Somehow, I was able to manage this shot: straight-on at the Academy, joined on the left by Hobby Lobby. (Five Below, the junior anchor, sits to Hobby Lobby's left, but had not started construction at this point.) Note the Academy trailer out front... extremely telling, yet Academy made an announcement that they were coming to Olive Branch several months later, as if it had been a secret up to that point!
The view headed north on Pleasant Hill, taking a look right at the side of Academy. The stretch of Pleasant Hill closest to Goodman beside this center was widened, but is still quite tight, since the widening does not stretch past the center due to residences. Road work occurred simultaneously with the building of the center.
By May 15th, 2015, it doesn't look like too much has changed on the exterior, but I assure you workers were very busy and efficient.
Take this view, for example: evidently road work for the parking lot had commenced in mid-May!
Fast-forwarding to June 29th, the view from above had transformed greatly, with much of the exterior decoration administered.
A straight-shot view at both Hobby Lobby and Academy also reveals that progress. Aside from signage, this is pretty much the final look of the stores.
Looking back down Goodman toward its intersection with Pleasant Hill, you can see just how much land was razed for Olive Branch Crossing. That's a pretty precarious ledge the church lot is now left with...
To make the center completely level, turns out much of it actually wound up below road level from Goodman Road. You'll see this again in later views.
By July 1st, Five Below had begun construction alongside its more developed fellow anchors. This view from Sweet Pepper's Deli also shows the addition of some new stoplights (foreground, covered with tarp) to join the established three at the pictured intersection.
The view July 24th headed toward Goodman Road shows a new monument sign for Academy lining Pleasant Hill Road.
Rounding the corner by the church, what's that you see...?
Aha! Late July also saw the installation of the exterior signage, at least on Academy, who's not wasting any time! Note also the rather tall road sign frame on the left: Olive Branch apparently has no qualms for such signs, unlike next-door Southaven!
This one has the most window glare, and even the passenger side mirror - sorry! I thought this shot was important, though, because it shows the other road sign for Olive Branch Crossing - yes, for whatever reason, it has two! - did have its frame filled on July 24th, if the one in front of Academy did not.
Not to worry, though: by August 10th, it was filled out, too. The only difference between the two? The one in front of Academy has Academy on top, while the one in front of Hobby Lobby, well... you guessed it! Still have no clue why two signs so close to each other were necessary...
The view over the hood in early August at the other two stores in Olive Branch Crossing shows they're making leaps of progress, too. Note how low they appear, however... not as pretty a sight as they would prefer, I bet, especially with those pesky weeds and such blocking the view!
Here's a view ten days later from the Pink Coconut Boutique (not there for me, lol!) parking lot: perhaps better than that close-up from the last shot? You can also see that Hobby Lobby has put its signs up at this point.
We've made it to this month now, with this September 5th view showing Five Below, the quickest construction of the three, has joined Hobby Lobby in installing signage. I assume work had shifted inside to prep for opening by the time of these pics.
At least, I hope that's the case, since this same-day view of next-door Academy sees it loudly proclaiming its September 18th opening date with that banner!
This September 8th, 2015, picture shows what could almost be mistaken for some open stores, only ten days away from opening - the cars probably belong to construction workers familiar with the center, and new associates beginning to learn the ropes.
A much more cleaned-up last view of the Five Below and Hobby Lobby - though I'm not a big fan of those wimpy tree things. They look too much like overgrown grass for my tastes! The landscaping treatment at the other big construction project in DeSoto County, the Tanger Outlets in Southaven, looks much better, in my opinion - I don't have a post up my sleeves for that, though. Maybe l_dawg2000 does? Or one of you?
One final shot from September 8th: as Olive Branch Crossing prepares to open, looks like a gas station will soon be joining it across Pleasant Hill! I feel bad for that church, these probably aren't the most welcome new neighbors...
Let's head up to the sky for an aerial look: well, sorta, anyway! This is an overhead view of the plans for Olive Branch Crossing, showing Five Below, Hobby Lobby, Academy, and several other things. I'm not quite sure what the final plan here for additional retail is, though: I've seen variations of these plans where those restaurants left of Five Below are actually more shops, and those shops pictured right of Academy, while consistent in each plan I've seen, definitely have no room to fit beside it in reality. I suppose we'll find out for sure as time rolls on!
For now, let's finish out the post with what we do know for certain! Here's an up-close view of the center from its left entrance, looking across at Five Below, Hobby Lobby, and Academy...
...and here's a reverse view, from just beyond the existing church (there's a dividing wall there, by the way - don't think I got a photo of that earlier).
Last but not least, a look at the road signage for Olive Branch Crossing, with room to grow! These last four pictures are on the blog courtesy, and I'd hazard a guess that some more shots past opening will be making their way onto flickr at some point in the future ;)

That's what's happening in Olive Branch... until next time, have fun exploring the retail world wherever you are!

Retail Retell