By Claire Parker
Published: Wednesday, March 13, 2013 at 10:35 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, March 13, 2013 at 10:35 a.m.
Hampstead residents, hope you’re hungry because frozen yogurt and Doritos tacos are coming your way.
Fuzzy Peach and Taco Bell are scheduled to open up shop in Pender County later this year. The two eateries are the newest tenants for the Hampstead Town Center, which is scheduled to open in May.
Other restaurants planned for the new shopping center include Hwy 55 Burgers, Shakes & Fries – a 50’s-style diner franchise based in Goldsboro – and Englese’s Italian Restaurant and Pizzeria will open a second location in addition to its Surf City restaurant.
“There is a need for more sit-down restaurants in Hampstead,” said Joe Englese, who own’s his namesake restaurant. “They are getting big names in here and hopefully it will be great.”
Hampstead Town Center is under construction near Topsail Elementary School on U.S. 17, and the first phase is slated to open in May.
The center has two phases of restaurant, retail and office space and is currently the only one of its kind being built in the greater Wilmington area, according to the developer.
“We’ve been fortunate to get a location with its proximity to local schools,” said Rick Rowe, president of Wakefield Associates in Raleigh which is developing the project. “It’s the right location at the right time with a lot of permanent residents.”
Rowe said the $14 million center will have 81,000 square feet of space. The first phase is anchored by a Lowes Foods grocery store and will also have a Lowes fuel center in the parking lot. Lowes is scheduled to open the weekend before Memorial Day.
Also in the first phase are Great Clips, Atlantic Wireless and offices for Darden Insurance. Fuzzy Peach is scheduled to open in May and an opening date for Taco Bell, which will built on an out parcel, has not been announced.
Two spots remain in the first phase, or about 2,800 square feet, and the second phase has already broken ground. It will hold about 14 tenants including Johnson Drug, a regional drug store based in Jacksonville, that should open in late summer with its pharmacy and medical equipment sales store and drive-through window.
Rowe said he is in talks with several local boutique and medical businesses to occupy space in the second phase, which has a total of 17,000 square feet. Marvin Waldo of Retail Strategies in Raleigh is handling the leasing and said the location is prime since it’s in the middle of Hampstead and across from the schools and library.
“We think it could be a focal point of the area,” Waldo said. “Hampstead is a healthy market and all indicators are pointing upward.”