It’s a project with the potential to reshape Indian Land. And it’s open for business.
Hobby Lobby is open in Promenade at Carolina Reserve, the 500,000-square-foot retail center at U.S. 521 and Jim Wilson Road in Indian Land. Several more tenants will be in place in the next two months.
“This is really nice for us,” said Sun City resident William Chick. “Especially us with aged people that can’t drive too far. We can go up right across the street now.”
Shopper Joy Butler agrees.
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“It’s really exciting to see neat stores coming to this area and bringing a lot more business and tax money into a town that hasn’t had it.”
Burlington, Ross Dress for Less, TJ Maxx, Ulta Beauty, Rack Room Shoes, Five Below and Kirklands are nearing openings on the same side of the project as Hobby Lobby. Hibbett Sports is a little further from completion. Five Below should open Nov. 21. Brian Carnes, who represents Indian Land on Lancaster County Council, said Burlington could be open within the “next two or three weeks.”
“Hobby Lobby was first,” Carnes said. “I think the majority of the ones that are being upfitted now are supposed to open by the end of September. There are some more that are supposed to open by the end of October.”
Online site plans from the group leasing space at Carolina Reserve also show Tuesday Morning and Petco joining those businesses on the Hobby Lobby side of the project. That area combines for more than 220,000 square feet of retail space.
Almost 14 more acres of retail comes opposite those stores, according to the site plans, on the U.S. 521 side. Tenants shown for that spot are Aldi, McDonalds, Starbucks, Panera, Taco Bell, Verizon, Lee Nails, Mattress Firm, Chile’s and others. Signs are up now for Panera as construction continues, and a signs for what appears to be an Indian restaurant was going up Tuesday afternoon.
Several more large outparcel spaces don’t show tenants on the site plan. Efforts to get an exact listing of signed tenants to date were unsuccessful.
The Promenade project may draw to mind the popular Promenade on Providence Road in Charlotte. That shopping center is a Childress Klein property. The Indian Land, South Carolina, project is being developed by Tennessee-based firm Hutton.
Milton Sojo is an administrator for a popular Indian Land page on Facebook. The group has more than 13,000 members. Sojo, who grew up in the community and runs a digital company, sees all sorts of opinions on the shopping center.
“There’s always going to be two sides to an issue,” he said. “It seems like there’s definitely mixed feelings.”
People who have been in Indian Land for decades, Sojo said, sometimes lump Promenade in with the explosive residential and commercial growth going on all around.
“They don’t want the country feeling to go away,” Sojo said.
For others, the shopping center is convenience.
“The new Indian Land is excited to see we don’t have to drive 30 minutes into Charlotte through traffic,” Sojo said.
Himself a 16-year resident, Sojo understands both sides.
He said he sees a need for controlled growth, but believes building in Indian Land is a natural progression and can’t entirely be stopped. He said many who have been here decades may recall a time before nearby Ballantyne in the Charlotte area, when Indian Land leaders wanted but couldn’t get commercial growth.
While that growth now may be coming faster than anyone would have expected, Sojo supports it.
“I think it’s great,” he said of the Promenade project. “It’s great for the community. Growth is going to happen. No one can stop it.”
Butler also sees two sides to development, but focuses on what Indian Land is getting in the new shopping center.
“I think it’s great to have these stores this much closer, because I don’t have to go to Matthews or further than that for these stores,” she said. “But it’s a little bit sad to see the rural area becoming so grown up. But I think it’s just inevitable that it’s going to grow.”
Carnes said the shopping center is important beyond just the convenience for shoppers.
“It’s going to be a huge deal,” he said. “It’ll greatly enhance the sales tax base in the county, which will offset folks’ property tax. And there will be restaurants collecting hospitality tax, which goes to recreation and tourism-related items.”
Carnes saw plenty of shoppers out on opening day at Hobby Lobby. He imagined, whether for shopping or for the economics of the county, what a full shopping center might do.
“We’re looking forward to getting them all open,” Carnes said.