Cipkala is developing a small strip shopping center – The Hotel Shoppes – near the intersection with Interstate 26, adjacent to the new Residence Inn by Marriott that he opened this summer.
Zoe’s is the first tenant to sign on for a spot in the building, which can accommodate an additional two to four tenants, Cipkala said.
The Birmingham, Ala.,-based restaurant carries a lighter fare, such as hummus and pita for $4.89, a chicken salad and fruit plate for $8.59 or spinach rollups for $7.69. It also has a variety of gluten-free options and “take-home tubs” of standards, such as mayonnaise-free potato salad and pimento cheese.
The first local Zoe’s opened in Forest Acres in 2008, and a second location opened on Main Street in 2009.
The restaurant could be joined at the new location by other eateries, retail shops or service professionals, Cipkala said. “We’d like to have a variety and a good complement to the hotel,” he said, adding, “We’ve had a lot of interest.”
The developer said he is negotiating with other potential tenants, and anticipates signing up another small restaurant, a cell phone or packaging company, or possibly a yoga or massage business. The space also could be appealing to small medical providers, he said, as a new hospital is opening nearby next year.
The Lake Murray Boulevard area has seen a lot of building and retailing activity since Cipkala started building the Residence Inn last year, the developer said, including another strip center that is opening across the street, bringing a Smashburger, Marco’s Pizza and Dunkin’ Donuts.
The Residence Inn – with 100 residential-style suites and amenities, including a putting green, dry-cleaning services and grocery-delivery options – opened two months ago and has exceeded expectations, he said.
Increased development in the area makes sense as the economy rebounds, Cipkala said.
“It’s the gateway to Lake Murray and the greater Irmo area,” the developer said. Plus, the adjacent retail-heavy “Harbison (area) is pretty much maxed out.”