Saturday, April 15, 2017

East Memphis Sprouts Construction Update (April 2017)

Today's post highlights Shelby County, TN, retail.

This month's post is going to be a quick one, everybody, so I apologize in advance for that. To tell you the truth, I had another post - equally short in length - planned out already, but my flickr friend l_dawg2000 sent in some more East Memphis Sprouts construction photos to the blog's email address (midsouthretailblog [at] gmail [dot] com), and those are obviously much more timely to put up! Also in my inbox recently, I found two very cool treats from fellow flickr pal (and blogger) Albertsons Florida Blog. I was hoping to share one of them with you guys today in addition to this post, but unfortunately time hasn't been in my favor, despite the fact that this is a holiday weekend. Those will still go up in the future, of course, just not this month, sadly. Anyway, getting on with the post...

Front corner, looking from across Poplar Ave.

l_dawg titled his photos this time around, so I've included those in the captions underneath each photo. Even though the titles pretty much give away what you're looking at in each pic, I'll still try to add some explanation of my own, haha! His photos for this post were all taken at the very start of the month, on April 1st, and the majority of them from the Walgreens parking lot across the street as well.

Stripped north corner and front

Here we're again looking at the store's front left corner, which obviously has been stripped down to its bare bones. We also see a wider view of the left-side wall, however, and that indicates that at least some of the old brick will be staying on the exterior - so at least the store wasn't completely dismantled and reconstructed by Sprouts!

North side - wide view

In this wide view, we can see the left- (or north-) side wall in its entirety, with that stretch of untouched brick. Glad Sprouts will be incorporating that bit, little as it is, into their design! Just behind the roadside sign frame, you can see Sprouts is doing something where this window once was. I can't quite tell what it is, though - aside from the fact that it won't be a window again, anyway.

South side and rear corner

l_dawg also circled around the building on this visit, hence this shot of the back of the store. Once again, you can see just how close those railroad tracks are to the store itself! And we can also see that it looks like Sprouts is doing minimal construction work back here, too, which is good I suppose, but I actually kind of think this area could use some sprucing up... it's a little bland, in my opinion.

Stop for Sprouts (coming soon)

Last up from l_dawg, a promised close-up of the "coming soon" sign at the corner of Poplar and S Perkins. I love how this turned out, what with the pedestrian crossing light, and how he titled the photo! There's no mystery now what will be taking over the former Kroger/Schnucks/Seessels...

Photo courtesy

Lastly, to wrap up this post, here are a couple more photos of the store under construction that I was able to dig up from around the internet. The one above was posted to Twitter on April 5th, and shows not only the same "coming soon" sign as we saw in the previous photo but also the building behind it - with one major difference! Apparently, Sprouts began constructing a gable over their future entrance to the store just after l_dawg's most recent visit (sounds like he's got my luck, haha!). That will change the look of the building dramatically compared to its previous incarnations, and is sure to draw the attention of potential customers driving down Poplar and S Perkins!

Photo courtesy

And finally, here's a better shot of the entire building with the gable prominently displayed. This is from an article posted just this week to the High Ground News website (you can visit the article by clicking the courtesy link in the above photo's caption). Some highlights from the article:
  • "The new Memphis store will be Sprouts’ second on Poplar Avenue. The other is within The Shops of Forest Hill in Germantown, and the company also operates a store in Lakeland."
  • "[I]f all goes well a projected completion date is expected in mid-June."
  • "'We took the building back to just a shell, and we even cut out all of the interior concrete floor,' said Tyler Waldrip, project manager with Oklahoma City-based L5 Construction, the general contractor. 'The reason we removed all of the floor on the inside is because we are pouring it back with a special colored concrete to try to simulate a dirt floor since it’s a Farmer’s Market.'"

That first bullet point you probably already knew; the second one was news to me; and the third
is sad but not unexpected confirmation that all of the old Albertsons Industrial Circus décor has been completely removed from the store :(  Again, this shouldn't come as much of a surprise, considering it was doubtful it would be spared this time around by a new retailer like it was with Schnucks and Kroger who simply slapped up their own signs on the exterior and called it a day. Plus, the majority of the actual décor/signage sold off during the auction after Kroger's closure (not to mention the bulk of the shelving and equipment inside, too!), so little more than the floor could've been reused even if Sprouts did want to do so. But it's nevertheless a little sad to hear it said. Luckily, the old décor lives on both in my store album on flickr and here on the blog, at my auction post!

It's very much likely that l_dawg2000 will stop by this store at least once more before opening, and should he get more construction photos and send them in, you can expect to see them here on the blog. And once the store does open, not only will he probably go to the store, but I'd like to also, and any interior photos will be posted here as well. Plus, beyond this store, there's lots more to look forward to here at the Mid-South Retail Blog over the summer, including a couple new feature posts I've gotten the photos for this month, and Albertsons Florida Blog's two surprises for the blog, which you definitely won't want to miss, I promise! All that said, thanks again to l_dawg for these photos; I hope you all have a great Easter holiday, and have fun exploring the retail world wherever you are!

Retail Retell