A new retail center will open on Gervais Street this summer with two new tenants and space for two more.
If It’s Paper and SmartPhone Medic will move into the 9,000-square-foot, two-story center at 1801 Gervais St.
Bobbitt Design Build recently began transforming the building – formerly a Michelin tire shop – and plans to wrap up construction by July, a spokeswoman said. The new tenants will move in July 1.
If It’s Paper will move to the more centrally located downtown site from North Main Street, taking a 4,000-square-foot chunk of the Gervais Street building, developer Cubby Culbertson said. Culbertson also owns a piece of each of the two stores that are moving into the spot.
“Both of them are tired looking stores,” Culbertson said. The new site will give them a fresh look in a good location, he said.
For SmartPhone Medic, it is much-needed space, he said.
The store, which repairs smartphones, has been operating out of a 200-square-foot spot nearby on Devine Street since August 2009, when it opened with a single employee. The new location will have about 1,100 square feet, Culbertson said, and employ nine.
The new store will have an iPad lab for repairing tablet computers and will include more display space. “iPad’s becoming a huge market for us,” Culbertson said.
The building also will include a 1,200-square-foot retail space upstairs, which Culbertson said would be a good fit for another tech business, such as computer repair or printing, or a business geared toward women, the target customer for If It’s Paper.
The building’s downstairs will have another 4,000-square-foot space that could be used for retail, office or warehouse space, Culbertson said.
Kroger to close St. Andrews store
Kroger will close its grocery store at 817 St. Andrews Road in Columbia in about a month.
“This particular location has experienced declining sales and negative profit over an extended period of time, and its closing will help Kroger operate more efficiently,” spokesman Glynn Jenkins said in a statement.
The store is selling off the last of its merchandise. Its final day of operation will be April 27.
The store’s 90 employees “will be considered for reassignment to other Kroger locations as outlined in the company’s collective bargaining agreement,” Jenkins said.
The store opened at the site on Feb. 3, 1994.
The grocer’s store in Irmo is not affected.
Forever 21 expands
Forever 21, which opened last year at Columbiana Centre, recently finished a 3,000-square-foot expansion and has a grand re-opening set for 10 a.m. Saturday.
The upgrade will allow the women’s apparel retailer to offer a larger selection of merchandise in more than 15,000 square feet of retail space, including its Heritage 1981 and Love 21 brands, as well as cosmetics, lingerie and shoes.
Want free clothes or accessories? Line up Saturday. The first 300 people in line at 10 a.m. will get a free gift card. One winner will receive an outfit valued up to $150.