Here’s a look at what new businesses have opened at the Brentwood’s expanded Hill Center, and what’s planned for the future.
An uncertain future for retail behemoths such as JcPenney’s, Macy’s and Sears hasn’t stopped local entrepreneurs like Katie Figlio from opening a brick and mortar store.
The Brentwood native, who has worked as a nurse for the past few years, decided she wanted to open a boutique several months ago.
Then she saw Hill Center was leasing retail space. With help from her parents, she opened Fab’rik, a women’s fashion franchise, two months ago.
“I know this community very well. And I would not have walked out on a limb and started this if I had any doubts,” Figlio said. “And honestly, the first month has secured that.”
The completion of Hill Center’s first phase of expansion last fall has seen the arrival of more than 20 new businesses in the mixed-use shopping center, from Class A office space for companies including the LBMC headquarters to upscale boutiques and restaurants such as Uncle Julio’s and Del Frisco’s Grille.
Mere months after the completion of Hill Center’s first phase, 93 percent of the development’s 158,000 square feet of office space is leased.
Ninety-eight percent of its 66,000 square feet of retail and restaurant place is leased.
Leasing at Hill Center is better than expected, said H.G. Hill Realty Co. President Celeste Patterson.
“We’re not Green Hills; our demographic is more ‘daily living’, Patterson said, referring to the upscale mall in Nashville. “We’re not going to have Louis Vuitton and Tiffany’s.”
Like many mixed-use developments, Hill Center is strategic in encouraging consumers to explore the shops and eateries on foot, with restaurants like Nama Sushi Bar and Jeni’s Ice Cream nestled among retailers.
Whether by design or coincidence, many of the wares and services at Hill Center target a female, inter-generational demographic.
In addition to four fashion boutiques, other businesses include The Cosmetic Market, Hand & Stone Spa and Noire Nail Bar.
“The tenant mix really is tailored toward, to some degree, females. There’s kind of a hole in that market,” Patterson said.
The upcoming openings of Peter Millar, which sells men’s clothes, and Alumni Hall, will also provide some retails options for men, she added.
Figlio said her shop hits the mid-range price points, and most items are under $100. But the merchandise, sourced from the Los Angeles fashion market, isn’t limited to one age group.
“Moms can shop here with their daughters,” she said.
And while Fab’rik is just a stone’s throw from three other clothing boutiques that just opened, Hemline, Francesca’s and Dress Up, Figlio said the close proximity helps grow her customer base.
“It’s good competition to have — it brings more people,” she said. “We support each other, and we all have a bit of a different price point.”
Leah King is a manager at Hemline, a boutique a couple of doors down from Fab’rik with a higher-end brand.
Now in its second month, King says the restaurants at Hill Center often draw in curious customers wanting to explore the development on foot after a meal.
“People are more supportive, especially in Brentwood, of small businesses,” King said.
The Cosmetic Market opened its fourth store in the Nashville area at Hill Center on May 1.
Marketed as a one-stop shop for high-end beauty products, business has picked up as more retailers open their doors, said assistant manager Emily May.
“Jeni’s brings a lot of people (to shop) more leisurely, it’s not so much run in, run out,” May said. “They spent a couple of hours eating, shopping and all that stuff.”
Hill Center’s design evolved in large part from the community input H.G. Hill received during many public meetings, Patterson said.
What did residents want? A sense of place, walkability, connectivity to City Park across Franklin Road, and something that felt, at least slightly, like a “downtown.”
What lies ahead
Phase two of Hill Center will build another 84,000 square feet of retail and 292,000 square feet of office space. Once it’s fully developed, Hill Center will have 600,000 square feet of retail and office space and connect to Maryland Way Park.
There’s currently no time frame set for phase two, Patterson said.
“For office tenants, it’s a fabulous place for them to be,” she said. “They can walk to lunch, take a walk in the park or walk to the (Maryland Farms) YMCA.”
And with companies like LBMC, Merrill Lynch, SunTrust Bank and First Tennessee Bank with offices at Hill Center, there’s no shortage of office employees.
Reach Elaina Sauber at email@example.com, 615-571-1172 or follow @ElainaSauber on Twitter.
Del Frisco’s Grille
Nama Sushi Bar
Holler and Dash
Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams
Chop’t Creative Salad Co.: To open late 2017
Sur La Table: To open end of July
The Cosmetic Market
Peter Millar: Coming soon
Alumni Hall: Coming soon
Core Power Yoga
Hand & Stone
Noire Nail Bar
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