12/27/06 — New shopping center to replace former Litchfield

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New shopping center to replace former Litchfield

By Bonnie Edwards
Published in News on December 27, 2006 1:55 PM

A new shopping center, Goldsboro Promenade, will replace the former Litchfield Cinema building on Berkeley Boulevard, developers say.

The co-developers, Winston-Salem-based Atlantic Coast Commercial and Granite Development in Mount Airy, plan to build a 40,000 square-foot Ashley Furniture Home Store, and have another 16,000 square feet available for smaller retail shops.

Goldsboro native Emory Croom is one of the partners of Atlantic Coast Commercial. He said he is excited about coming back home to work on a project and has high hopes for the venture.

"I've always wanted to get back to Goldsboro to do something," he said. Croom praised Bob Logan at Wayne Realty for helping put the plan together and keeping the project going through the early stages.

Granite Development will erect the new building, and Atlantic Coast will concentrate on leasing the stores.

Croom said Ashley, the anchor store, represents a first-class tenant.

"I'm fortunate to have Ashley as a client," he said.

Croom has brought several of the Ashley Furniture Home Stores to North Carolina, including Winston-Salem, Greensboro, Durham, Raleigh and Fayettevile. He said after the Goldsboro store opens, he hopes to expand to other cities in eastern North Carolina.

The Goldsboro store will be among more than 200 Ashley Furniture Home Stores, which sell furniture exclusively from Ashley Furniture Industries. The company designs, builds and distributes numerous lines, including bedroom, dining room, casual dining, upholstery, motion upholstery, leather, leather match, occasional tables, entertainment centers, home office, youth bedroom, recliners, curios, mattresses and accessories.

Croom said Trey Gurley of Goldsboro handled the engineering for the project and took the shopping center's proposed lay-out to the Goldsboro Planning Department.

The project is now in the design stage, Croom said, and there is no target date for construction to start.

Atlantic Coast hasn't found any tenants yet for the small shops. Croom said he hopes to have a fast food drive-through for one end of the shopping center and maybe another sandwich and coffee shop in the center. He said retail clothing and wireless sales stores would be ideal businesses for the new shopping center.

Atlantic Coast is trying to put together a good mix of stores to support the anchor, said another one of the partners, William Daniel.

He said Atlantic Coast hopes to close on the property in early 2007.

"We have no start time yet," Daniel said. "But we want to start as soon as possible."