Armory Station takes shape

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, April 9, 2008

FRANKLIN—Now that Farm Fresh Supermarket & Pharmacy is open for business, the Midland Development Group is looking into filling the other vacant storefronts still under construction.

Two of the six storefronts being built next to the supermarket have been leased, according to a spokesman for the developers.

Great Wall, a Chinese restaurant currently located in Armory Square, and ABC phones, which carries the All-Tel line of communication devices, have signed leases, said C. Burney Dawkins, of Midland Development Group. Farm Fresh opened in late March and work on its gas station has begun, but it’s going to take a few more weeks after that for the other stores to open.

According to Dawkins, construction is expected to be completed in late May, with occupancy expected 60 days thereafter, “probably” in July, Dawkins said.

Great Wall will also includes a “few” Japanese items in its menu, Dawkins said.

ABC is expected to hire a staff of about 20, including sales and technical support people, according to Dawkins.

What the company is calling “Armory Station” has certain, obvious appeals.

“There’s lots of visibility from the bypass, and from Armory Drive,” said Dawkins, whose office is located in Jacksonville, Fla. The company also has an office in St. Louis. Midland Development Group is a real estate development and investment firm specializing in retail and mixed-use properties.

Midland and Farm Fresh have a long history together.

In fact, the next Farm Fresh scheduled to open, in Wilson, N.C., later this month, according to Farm Fresh officials, was also developed with Midland. At that site, however, a Home Depot is projected to be part of the property called Gateway Plaza, according to the company’s Web site.

Premiere Station in Roanoke Rapids and Tiffany Square in Rocky Mount, are other ventures connecting Midland to Farm Fresh.

In addition, Midland has developed shopping centers from New Jersey to Florida, Ohio to Texas, and is currently working on projects reaching Mississippi and Colorado.

At Armory Station, The Midland Web site offers the following assessments: Armory Station is a 22-acre retail development with 194,000 square feet of new grocery and home improvement anchored development with 1,200 to 10,000 square feet of new small shop space available. Two 1.6-acre out parcels are available for sale or ground lease.

The 2004 traffic counts included list average daily traffic along Armory Drive as 14,000 vehicles. Some 20,000 vehicles travel Route 58 daily.

The United States Postal Service delivery statistics show a 13 percent increase in the residential counts since 2000.