Big brands could come to GermantownSeptember 4, 2020
By ALLEN LAMAN
JASPER — A pair of national brands could one day come to a Jasper shopping center.
Factory Connection is already set to fill one of the Germantown Shopping Center’s vacant storefronts. But in a Thursday interview, a leader of the company that owns the Newton Street destination spoke of how more conversations with other players are ongoing.
“There is good momentum here,” Jim Wittman, senior vice president and chief operating officer of Regency Properties, said of the interest to fill the vacancies in the center. “So, we are working [on] two very large deals that people [would] be very excited about. One is an outlot tenant, and one of them is an in-line tenant.”
He continued: “And big brands. I mean, national names.”
Regency hopes to finalize a deal with those unnamed companies before the end of the year. Wittman did not know when Factory Connection would open. A call to that business was not returned by press time.
According to its website, Factory Connection “offers a wide selection of brand name fashions” at “prices that are 25% to 70% below regular retail.” The chain has more than 300 stores in 16 states and is growing rapidly.
Five storefronts currently sit empty in the Germantown center — including the 17,000-square-foot space that formerly housed a Cash Saver Market. Also, 4,000-square-foot and 1,600-square-foot slices of the main building are also available, as are two 1,200-square-foot chunks of the nearby building that holds Hibbett Sports and the Mi Jalisco Mexican Restaurant.
While discussing how Regency chooses what businesses to fill its properties with, Wittman said that it’s Regency’s job to satisfy the community’s needs and wants by “bringing the right tenant mix in that lets them be able to shop at home, and not drive all the way to Evansville or Louisville.”
When asked how Regency would like to fill the remaining five spaces, Wittman spoke of the two potential tenants mentioned at the beginning of this story — but did not elaborate on what kind of businesses they could be.
The outlot tenant would set up in a building built from the ground up in the parking lot, and the in-line tenant would fill a space in the current shopping center structure.
Regency has had to replace tenants since acquiring Germantown in 2016, but Wittman believes its current lineup is “just phenomenal.”
“Since we’ve owned it, we’ve brought in Kohl’s, T.J. Maxx, Harbor Freight, JOANN,” he said, later adding Factory Connection to that list. Retail companies have demographic systems, he explained, that point them to certain locations.
Regency believes Germantown is located in a phenomenal community.
And they aren’t the only ones.
“These national names showing up the way they are,” Wittman said, “that’s just showing the power of the community.”
This week, Regency signed a contract that will see the replacement of all the shopping center’s parking lights with LED bulbs. That work is expected to be finished by Christmas.
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