High-end convenience store to open in East Memphis

One of the largest independent convenience store owners or operators in the local tri-state area is building his second high-end convenience store in Memphis.

Anwar Aman, president of Radiant Group of Cos., plans to open an Exxon gas station in late September or early October at 814 Mt. Moriah Rd. The convenience store and gas station is currently under construction on a half-acre lot formerly home to an Easy Way store.

Aman said the 3,600-square-foot convenience store will have three gas dispensers, allowing six drivers to pump gas at one time. The cost of the building, pump, canopy, tanks, and other materials will be almost $2 million, which doesn't include the real estate, according to Barry Maynard of Loeb Realty Group LLC, who represented Aman and Radiant in the deal. The gas station will be a similar model to Aman's 3,900-square-foot Shell station at Perkins Road and Poplar Avenue.

"The quality of this store will be something that you don't see on this road," Aman said. "People going towards Walnut Grove Road really needed something of this quality, and that's the reason we chose this site."

Anwar Aman - President Radiant Group of Companies

Allan Howell │MBJ

Maynard said the concept is something new to Tennessee and the aim is to get away from the negative stigma people may associate with gas stations, instead creating a family-friendly place that offers options customers don't get at other convenience stores.

"We are trying to create the environment of a Starbucks-meets-an-upscale-convenience-store: Convenient, yet affordable environment that has something for everyone," Maynard said. "This is much more than a place to get a soda, bag of chips, bag of ice, and fill up your vehicle with gas, but a place that is upscale, clean, well-lit, incredible greenspace, family-friendly, that will have just about every type of food. … We believe this is the future of gas stations."

Aman said offerings will include sushi, handmade deserts, fresh-pressed organic drinks, salads, wraps, fresh vegetables and fruit, and homemade ice cream. There will also be a full kitchen offering fried chicken, vegetables, pizza, and other choices.

"We are taking a holistic approach to the convenience store business," Aman said. "We just don't want to sell anything and everything just to make money. … We're focusing on offering people healthy choices and be a convenience store where junk food will be minimized."

Aman controls more than 200 gas stations in nine states in the United States. Great Western Builders in Collierville is the general contractor company building the new Exxon Xpress gas station. Maynard is the exclusive broker for Radiant.

By Corey Davis - Staff Reporter, Memphis, Business Journal - July 9, 2019, 3:39 pm EDT

Slim Chickens plans to open several Memphis-area restaurants

slim+chickens+basket.jpg

A popular chicken restaurant is expected to open its first Memphis-area location this summer, with up to 14 more on the way.

Slim Chickens is headed to Southaven's Silo Square in July. The restaurant is being opened by DHR, which operates one of the largest Sonic Drive-In restaurant franchises in the county. DHR has initial plans to open seven Mid-South Slim Chickens — under DHR Chicken — within the next 60 months.

“Right now, we’re going to be the first thing opening in [Silo Square],” DHR partner Scott Davis said. “We feel like this is going to be instant credibility for us, because this is a pretty big deal in Southaven and one of the biggest developments in Northern Mississippi. For us, we only look for A-plus lots, and this is a place that’s very visible and in a high-traffic area that we feel very good about.”

The restaurant will be located on Getwell Road across from Snowden Grove Park.

Davis said DHR's plan is to open a Slim Chickens in Collierville by the end of the year, which will be located on 1.5 acres on Poplar Avenue, right across from a Walmart and beside an Aldi grocery store.

However, that project might be delayed, with construction not beginning until early November; if that were the case, the opening date would be pushed to early 2020.

“It’s a very particular, vexing process they do in Collierville,” Davis said. “The timeline we can have it open depends on how quick we can have it expedited.”

According to Davis, DHR will look to open its third, fourth, and fifth Slim Chickens locations closer to the heart of Memphis. The franchise group thought opening in Memphis' suburbs first was the best strategy to introduce the brand to the market.

“We’re really big in community involvement,” Davis said. “We felt, for brand awareness, getting into Southaven and Collierville first would allow us to be part of those communities. … With one in DeSoto County and one in Shelby County, it gives us an opportunity to really have a presence in these very important counties.”

Barry Maynard and Frank Dyer with Loeb Realty Group were the real estate brokers for the Southaven and Collierville sites.

According to Davis, the long-term goal is to build between 10 to 15 Slim Chickens in the Memphis market. He anticipates that, over the next four to five years, they will have five stores open, with each location employing 70 workers.

Tom Gordon, cofounder and CEO of Slim Chickens, said the Southaven restaurant will mark the company’s 87th. The franchise is looking to open its 100th restaurant later this year.

Gordon said the prototypical Slim Chicken restaurants are either 2,400 square feet or 2,700 square feet. The dining rooms can seat between 70 and 90 people.

“We’re going to add 350 to 400 jobs in the area, and there are opportunities for folks to turn those jobs into some high-level positions,” Davis said. “In our group for example, GMs make in the range between $80,000 to $100,000. Our multi-leaders, [who are] over five or six of our Sonic stores make $150,000 or more.”

Slim Chickens’ menu consists of chicken tenders, different flavors of chicken wings, chicken and waffles, sandwiches, salads, dipping sauces, jar desserts, and other choices. Slim Chickens was founded in Fayetteville in 2003 and has locations in the U.S., Kuwait, and London.

Woodie's Wash Shacks coming to Memphis

Turns out that the new, automated car wash that will be built on Poplar Avenue where the Century Building now stands will be one of perhaps seven around Memphis, and all will be called Woodie’s Wash Shack.

Developers already have a contract on another, less controversial site for the Florida-based chain’s second car wash in Memphis: on vacant land fronting Whitten, just northeast of the Interstate 40/Whitten interchange in Northeast Memphis.

A Florida-based company want to build up to seven Woodie’s Wash Shack locations in Memphis (Rendering courtesy of Woodies’s Wash Shack)

A Florida-based company want to build up to seven Woodie’s Wash Shack locations in Memphis (Rendering courtesy of Woodies’s Wash Shack)

Barry Maynard and Frank Dyer III of Loeb Realty Group are still searching for more spots on behalf of Tampa-based Blue Water Wash, which does business as Woodie’s Wash Shack.

One of the Woodie's Wash Shack partners is Glen Stygar, whose  background is primarily in development of apartments and rental storage units.  

The first Woodie’s Wash Shack has yet to open, but Stygar has more than 15 in predevelopment across the Southeast.

The ones on Poplar and Whitten should open early next year, Stygar said.

Woodie’s Wash Shack will be an express service through an automated wash tunnel, with free vacuums and two or three attendants on site, he said.

“The big thing we offer is monthly memberships. Come as often as you like,” Stygar said, adding that a basic membership will cost $20. Nonmembers will pay from $10 up for a wash.

The 1.5-acre site on Whitten near I-40 has “tremendous traffic count,” Maynard said Wednesday morning over the noise of vehicles moving past the site. The future car wash will be across from a Hardees, Taco Bell, Starbucks, McDonald’s and Walmart.

Frank Dyer III (left) and Barry Maynard of Loeb Realty Group show the lot where a Woodie’s Wash Shack will be built on Whitten Road near Interstate 40.  (Tom Bailey/Daily Memphian)

Frank Dyer III (left) and Barry Maynard of Loeb Realty Group show the lot where a Woodie’s Wash Shack will be built on Whitten Road near Interstate 40. (Tom Bailey/Daily Memphian)

“And strong demographics,” he said. “Not a lot of competitors within a mile and a half range. You’re across the street from a Walmart. You’ve got all this new development.”

Next door to the site, cars continually occupied most of the fuel pumps of the Kangaroo Express convenience store on Wednesday morning.

Blue Water Wash is paying $875,000 for the East Memphis site, and has the vacant lot on Whitten under contract.

Maynard and Dyer’s work is hardly over for the car wash developer. “We’ve identified about seven trade areas we’re focusing” on in Memphis, Dyer said.

Blue Water Wash needed a minor zoning exception to build at 3294 Poplar at Century, and was met with stiff opposition from residential neighbors who argued a car wash would degrade their quality of life and property values.

Still, the Board of Adjustment approved the car wash unanimously. Board members said they felt the company made substantial concessions to neighbors, including buffering the business with a pocket park and erecting an shadow-box fence.

In the future, car washes must be located at more major intersections, Maynard said. So he and Dyer are hunting for the same type of properties that a Walgreens or gas station would seek.

“We need a lot of people and rooftops,” Maynard said. “Like a site that has 18,000 or more vehicles (passing) a day. And that’s kind of on the low end.”

About 27,000 cars pass by the Woodie’s Wash Shack site in East Memphis daily, and nearly 33,000 cars will pass the one on Whitten Road, Maynard said.

Press Release - LaBaguette Extends Lease in East Memphis

Venerable bakery La Baguette extends lease in East Memphis

The tastes and aromas of France will remain at 3088 Poplar now that La Baguette has signed a new lease to stay in the Shops of Chickasaw Oaks Village.

The bakery and café will continue leasing 4,489 square feet for an additional 6.5 years, with two five-year options.

It’s the same East Memphis spot La Baguette has inhabited since it was founded in 1976.

La Baguette specializes in cakes, cookies, pastries, confections, soups and sandwiches.  (Photo courtesy of La Baguette)

La Baguette specializes in cakes, cookies, pastries, confections, soups and sandwiches. (Photo courtesy of La Baguette)

The shop specializes in cakes, cookies, pastries, confections, soups and sandwiches.

Barry D. Maynard and Frank Dyer III of Loeb Realty Group represented La Baguette in the deal, and Carson Claybrook of Commercial Advisors represented the landlord, Louis Kirby Ellis.

Paul and Ruth Howse founded La Baguette in 1976 to provide French breads, pastries, desserts, breakfast and lunch.

Ruth Howse, who died in 1998, studied French cooking at Parisian cooking schools, and was a student of both Julia Child and Jacques Pepin.


New operators invest in E's; Florida-based retailer headed to Mid-South

E's Cafe will continue

A couple months ago, E’s 24 Hour Cafe owner Charles "Rip" Crain told Memphis Business Journal that his casual restaurants would be closing their doors by the end of 2018.

That's no longer the plan.

Since our story about the impending closures ran Feb. 8, two separate groups stepped forward to continue operating the E's Cafes on Park Avenue and Union Avenue.

Eagle Eyes Enterprise purchased the 4969 Park Ave. building for $325,000 in March and will continue to operate the restaurant as an E's, according to  Barry Maynard  of Loeb Realty Group, which handled both sides of the transaction.  Earlier this week,  Rozell Gray  signed a 9.5-year lease for the 1308 Union Ave. E's building, which is owned by Crain. Gray will continue to operate it as an E's, said Maynard, who represented both sides of the lease alongside partner Frank Dyer III.

Eagle Eyes Enterprise purchased the 4969 Park Ave. building for $325,000 in March and will continue to operate the restaurant as an E's, according to Barry Maynard of Loeb Realty Group, which handled both sides of the transaction.

Earlier this week, Rozell Gray signed a 9.5-year lease for the 1308 Union Ave. E's building, which is owned by Crain. Gray will continue to operate it as an E's, said Maynard, who represented both sides of the lease alongside partner Frank Dyer III.

Major Memphis foundation sells HQ, signs lease for new office

A prominent Memphis foundation is moving out of its longtime home.

The Memphis Leadership Foundation, which has an annual budget of $7.5 million, sold its 1548 Poplar Ave. building for $705,000 in September. Earlier this month, it signed a lease for 3,200 square feet in 2400 Poplar Ave.

Memphis Leadership Foundation has created and helped incubate about 30 urban nonprofits since 1987. These include Memphis Athletic Ministries, Christ Community Health Services and Memphis Center for Urban Theological Studies (MCUTS).

When MCUTS moved out of 1548 Poplar last year, Memphis Leadership Foundation president Larry Lloyd decided it was time to sell the 60-year-old building.

"I said, let's get out of the ownership business, with all the variable costs you can’t predict with an old building," Lloyd said.

2400 Poplar Bldg Photo.JPG

Loeb Realty Group's Barry Maynard, who serves as vice chairman on the foundation's board, led its search for a new home, Lloyd said. The five-story Poplar Avenue building near East Parkway turned out to be the cheapest and most functional space the foundation looked at.

Moving forward, Lloyd said the organization is hoping to provide back-office support to more organizations.

"We're continuing to help nonprofits do what they do best," Lloyd said.

Laura Taylor and Ron Riley with Colliers International represented the landlord, In-Rel Properties Inc.

Developer Planning 228-Acre Town Square in Southaven, MS

The Southaven Board of Aldermen has approved developer Brian Hill’s ambitious plan for a 228-acre mixed-use development called Silo Square in the heart of DeSoto County.

Hill’s company, Lifestyle Communities LLC, submitted the request to rezone the acreage on the west side of Getwell Road between Goodman and Nail roads from agricultural to mixed use at the board’s Tuesday, Jan. 2, meeting.

“One of the key things is the town square,” Hill told the board. “The character of the town square that we’re going to build will very much resemble that of old town squares, like the Collierville Town Square.

According to Hill’s outline plan, the office, commercial and mixed-use buildings will be located on 56 acres on the east side of the development along Getwell Road, while the 108 acres of residential development will be located on the interior of the site and continue west until Tchulahoma Road.

The single-family residential areas will include both front- and rear-loaded lots ranging in size from 6,000 to 15,000 square feet, according to the project’s letter of intent.

“Additionally, 128 loft units will offer a highly desired residential product missing from the existing market,” Henry Minor of Thomas Dalhoff design studio wrote in the letter of intent. “These lofts with an associated clubhouse and pool area will appeal to those individuals who don’t want the burden of maintaining a home and yard but still want the amenities associated with a quaint, walkable neighborhood.

The remaining 63.9 acres will be utilized as common open space.

"One of the things I love most about this project is the history of the farm and what we’re going to be able to preserve,” Hill said of a historic silo bin that will be preserved and incorporated as a “central feature” of the development.

Representing almost 30 percent of the entire project, other features of the public spaces will include wooded areas, lakes, trail systems and parks.

In order to tie the project together, Hill is planning a 10-foot-wide urban greenway that will run from the Tchulahoma Road entrance to the main “mixed-use center” on the eastern side of the property.

As a result, all Silo Square residents will be within three-quarters of a mile, or a 15-minute walk, to the mixed-use center, with most located within half a mile, or a 10-minute walk.

“Achieving walkability is essential for a truly successful neighborhood, and the proposed 4-mile pedestrian network within the development will lay the foundation for that to occur,” Minor also wrote.

The “signature piece” of the mixed-use development will feature a Main Street-style boulevard stemming from the Getwell entrance that will be lined with two- and three-story buildings and will eventually end in a town square centered on a clock or bell tower.

Retail, restaurant and office users would occupy the first floor of the buildings, with residential lofts featuring balconies occupying the higher floors.

The remaining commercial lots fronting Getwell will have a more traditional commercial outparcel set up and feature hotels, office space, a farmers market and possibly a grocery store.

“Depending on market demand, the intent is for restaurants, banks and retail services to be developed on these outparcels,” Minor continued. “To capitalize on the significant number of users to Snowden Grove Park and BankPlus Amphitheater, two hotels are envisioned for this development, which will help support these community amenities and sustain the restaurants and retailers in the mixed-use center.”

As the project’s namesake and central feature, the existing silo will be painted white, restored with a silver metal roof and have the Silo Square logo painted on the concrete surface.

Mobile pet groomer is on the move — to a new HQ near High Point Terrace

A nearly 10-year-old local mobile grooming franchise has just purchased its first official headquarters.

Mathis Young — owner, president and CEO of Aussie Pet Mobile of Greater Memphis & West TN — bought a 4,755-square-foot space at 3590 Forrest Ave., off of Summer Avenue, for $258,000.

COURTESY OF AUSSIE PET MOBILE

COURTESY OF AUSSIE PET MOBILE

Aussie Pet Mobile's headquarters includes two 14-foot roll-out doors and more than 1,000 square feet of warehouse space. The new space will allow the company to maintain its fleet of 11 vans during hot, cold or rainy conditions without have to be in the elements.

In addition to 11 mobile pet stylists, Aussie's team includes an operations manager, an office manager and a client relations specialist. They work under the same roof, rather than using dispatching, something Young said is one of the keys to the company's success.

Another key to success is simply demand.

"People love their pets, spoil their pets [and] spend a lot of money on their pets," Young said. "People just love the service. People love that we come to their house."

Young began the business at the age of 27 after working in business development for Paragon Bank. After lots of networking and "hustling" at work, he decided he wanted to go into business for himself.

Young said he "still [has] a really good relationship" with Paragon Bank, who provided loans for the business.

Aussie's services include nail clipping, a 15-step spa treatment, a de-shedding treatment, shave-downs, facials and milk baths, a "light fragrance" and a "tasty treat" — with owner approval.

The business' service area includes Memphis and its suburbs, as well as Southaven and Olive Branch; Jackson, Tennessee; and towns in Tipton County.

Aussie purchased the building from Wagner Commercial Construction. Barry D. Maynard of Loeb Realty Group handled the transaction.

Elle Perry covers hospitality, tourism and health care.

TAGS: Memphis Business Journal; LRG In the News