Shopping center set for major renovations
By Elizabeth Dobbins, email@example.com
UPDATED: 04/20/2018 09:07:17 AM EDT
Geronimo Properties is having Twin Cities Shopping Center spruced-up. Exterior work will include the addition of sitting bench and new shrubbery. (COURTESY IMAGE)
Twin Cities Shopping Center is getting a makeover.
Work started this week on the first stage of exterior renovations, which are expected to continue in phases throughout the summer and into next year, according to Paul DiGeronimo, president of Geronimo Properties. The shopping center is on the Fitchburg-Leominster city line.
"We like to think of this as our community and we're investing into our community," he said.
The construction includes much of the 370,000-square-foot retail complex, but not the former Kmart, which is not owned by Geronimo Properties.
Work has begun on the first phase, the two-story building near the rear of the shopping center where businesses including Yamato Japan and Miracle Ear are located.
Though surrounded by scaffolding and construction workers, the businesses are still open during this phase of construction, which is expected to conclude in mid-July..
The same will be true for businesses affected in subsequent phases, according to DiGeronimo and Leasing Manager Laura O'Kane. They say they have tried to limit the impact on businesses by conducting some construction at night and hiring a person to greet and guide people walking toward the building.
Work on the northwest portion of the same building -- which houses businesses like Planet Fitness and Kappy's Fine Wine & Spirits -- is slated for updates during the second half of summer.
The project will remove awnings, install new facades, improve landscaping, provide seating and add wifi.
In late and early fall, the exterior of Boston Market is also expected to see an upgrade, including a new patio.
DiGeronimo said next year his company plans to update the exterior of neighboring businesses: Buffalo Wild Wings and Bob's Stores.
Updates to Singapore, Hannaford and businesses in the grocery's adjoining bays are also expected next year.
He said Geronimo Properties may also construct a new building containing medical offices on an empty lot near Singapore. The parking lot is expected to be repaved in coming years, he said.
UNO Pizzeria and a strip of businesses, including Outback Steakhouse, were updated about two years ago.
Though accessible through the same entrance, Family Federal Savings and Burger King are not owned by Geronimo Properties and will not be included in the projects.
The changes by Geronimo Properties are only exterior, though DiGeronimo said several businesses including Kappy's and Hannaford are planning coinciding interior updates.
Most of the center's exteriors were last updated in 1997.
DiGeronimo and O'Kane said the changes are about improving customer experience and attracting future leasers.
The stores occupying these buildings have shifted from retail- to service- oriented over the years following general market trends, they said. Currently, aside from one office bay, all of the roughly 40 spaces in the center are occupied.
"It's in a fabulous location," he said. "It's on Route 2, on South Street, near Route 12. It's in the center of (both) communities."
Fitchburg Mayor Stephen DiNatale praised the updates.
"Paul has been a great partner for a number of years," DiNatale said. "He's always focused."
The shopping center is locate in both Fitchburg and Leominster and O'Kane said she has worked with both city's to secure building permits.
DiGeronimo declined to reveal the cost of these updates, but said the investment was "substantial."
BTH Associates, landscape designer Chris LeBlanc, AT Leonard Associates and Goguen Construction are involved in the design and construction of the project.
Geronimo Properties believes in creating vibrant market places for robust commerce, this means we not only lease properties, but make them profitable. For Geronimo Commercial Properties this means actively planning and developing projects to transform our shopping centers, ensuring our retailers are provided with a modern look that appeals to all.
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