Developers to Build Retail, Office Space in Winston-Salem, N.C.

Apr. 27--Developers Michael Kelley and Stephen Austin are ready to develop their $5 million Shoppes on Hanes Mall Boulevard at the corner of Jonestown Road and Hanes Mall Boulevard.

Kelley Austin Properties LLC bought the property last week from Jonestown Baptist Church, which is on the site, along with a cemetery.

The "lifestyle center," which will consist of two buildings facing Jonestown Road, will have retail and office space.

Kelley said yesterday that the center's anchors will be the first Starbucks in Winston-Salem with a drive-through and a new prototype Arby's restaurant.

The Starbucks will go in a 5,000-square-foot building. The two-story, 30-foot building will have space for an additional retailer on the bottom and office space above it. It will feature Tuscan architecture that includes copper, brick arches and wrought iron around the windows.

Starbucks could not be reached for comment, but the company has expanded its number of drive-throughs in recent years in response to consumers wanting more convenience.

"About 20 percent of its stores that are being proposed for future growth are drive-throughs," Kelley said. "It's sort of a new direction for them to grow their stores."

The Arby's, which Kelley describes as an "upscale dining experience," will take up the entire second building, which will be about 3,000 square feet.

The idea for the center began about eight years ago, when Kelley noticed Starbucks drive-through coffee shops popping up in large metropolitan cities during hockey trips with his son, Christopher.

"The question of the day was how could we convince Starbucks to come to Winston-Salem and to do a drive-through restaurant," Kelley said.

It took him until the summer of 2005 to find what he considered to be the ultimate site in Winston-Salem for a drive-through.

According to a traffic consultant hired by Kelley Austin, about 40,000 cars come through the intersection of Jonestown Road and Hanes Mall Boulevard daily.

Kelley Austin worked with Meridian Realty in Winston-Salem as its broker to buy the Jonestown Baptist Church site after learning that the property was listed for sale with Remax Realty Consultants in Winston-Salem last summer.

"To me this piece of property was almost like a diamond in the rough," Kelley said.

Kelley Austin recently developed a similar "lifestyle center" concept in Greensboro where a Starbucks with a drive-through recently opened.

Although the church cemetery was included in the sale, it will remain on the property with a privacy fence between it and the center, and it will be accessible to church members, Kelley said. "We respect the family members," he said.

Jonestown Baptist Church has moved to 704 Bank St., west of Old Salem.

The developer will also widen Hanes Mall Boulevard from Jonestown Road up to about Char-Lou Lane, which connects with Kester Mill Road.

The N.C. Department of Transportation has already begun work to widen a nearly milelong section of Hanes Mall Boulevard from Kester Mill Road to Hanes Point Shopping Center.

Demolition of the church is expected to begin in about two weeks after removal of asbestos from the building and other Environmental Protection Agency requirements. Construction is expected to begin on the Arby's and Starbucks in mid-May, and the retailers should open in early November.

<<Winston-Salem Journal (NC) (KRT) -- 05/01/06>>

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