New owners seek shopping center tenants

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A Triangle-based developer recently spent $6.5 million to purchase a shopping center in hopes of increasing occupancy and business traffic.

New Falls Property owns a dozen properties in Raleigh and the recent sale of one prompted the developer to consider a new investment, eventually purchasing the center at the corner of Forest Hills Road and Raleigh Road Parkway.

“The Raleigh market has gotten a bit price-prohibitive, so New Falls expanded the search radius of shopping centers to include areas like Fuquay-Varina and Wilson,” said Zack Fisher with property management firm Palisades One and partner with investor New Falls Property. “This came across our radar and felt it was underperforming as far as properties go with a lot of growth potential.

“We feel Wilson is on the uptick and felt the vacancies in this center were because the previous owners were absentee, but the new guys are local. It is a lot easier to improve and build on a center when we’ve got eyes on it and feet on the ground.”

The shopping center has been called Gateway Shopping Center and Gateway Shopping Plaza, according to the seven leases currently occupying about 85 percent of the square footage.

Fisher said a directory sign of the tenants is being developed and likely will keep with the plaza name.

“The new owners are investing some capital in power-washing, repainting and re-striping the parking lot,” he said. “The cosmetic changes make a big difference. They make it look better, which helps the tenants and everyone.”

Fisher’s main focus is on bolstering the local economy by attracting new businesses. He said he’s excited to announce Partners Taekwon-Do in Clayton is expanding into Wilson by leasing the large 5,200-square-feet space near Hobby Lobby.

He’s also working on a children’s consignment store and recruiting an eatery for the space within the existing building or on the parcel between Hobby Lobby and the gas station on Forest Hills Road.

“In Raleigh we’ve got shops like Penn Station, Which Wich and Firehouse Subs, but I’ve noticed driving around here there is a shortage, and I think there was be a lot of interest in that,” he said. “I like this part of Wilson with a lot of newer development. Everything is real clean-looking with a lot of traffic and activity to feed off each other. It is a highly attractive area of Wilson and it surprises me this plaza has had as much vacancies as it has had.

“I think the changes we’re making will be good for Wilson, good for New Falls and good for everybody.”


Work to improve the U.S. 301 corridor in east Wilson has come with a number of new business developments, including the recent relocation of a downtown business.

“The renovation part of it was slow and that delayed us a bit,” said Public Tire Warehouse owner Mike McGee. “I wanted the construction on 301 to clear up a little bit, so I wasn’t in too big of a hurry to finish the renovation and move.”

For more than 15 years, the business was located at 300 Goldsboro St. SW, but McGee said he felt moving to U.S. 301 would help grow the family-owned business.

“We couldn’t ask for a better spot to have a business,” McGee said. “We’re at a major intersection across from McDonald’s and Taco Bell and next to Wendy’s. We’ve been a lot busier and our employees are much happier.”

McGee hired three more employees since moving in December to 900 U.S. 301. And the new, open floor plan has been great for customers as well.

“I work hard at providing the best deal I can,” he said. “I have an extensive inventory and we try to provide a pleasant experience with friendly, fast service.”

The business is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Fridays. Visit https://publictire.com/ for more information on Public Tire Warehouse.

McGee also owns the property on Goldsboro Street and is working on redeveloping it.

“We have something going on that hopefully will close in the next couple of months,” he said. “I think it will go along well with the Whirligig Station development.”

Got an idea for news to include in next week’s Main Street Minute? Don’t hesitate to reach out to me at 252-265-7821 or bhandgraaf@wilsontimes.com.