MILLEDGEVILLE — Construction at Kroger’s old storefront in the Kmart shopping center is complete and store shelves will be stocked prior to Hobby Lobby’s target opening date of Friday, Oct. 11.
“They’re putting fixtures in Sept. 21,” said John Brozovic, regional leasing director at Halpern Enterprises. “Work has been moving along pretty well.”
Recognized as one of the southeast’s most experienced shopping center development and management companies, Halpern Enterprises has owned the old Kroger shopping center for the past decade. The Heritage Walk shopping center consists of 160,000 square feet, which includes China Garden, Nail Pro, 1st Franklin Financial, The UPS Store, Papa John’s, It’s Fashion, Kmart and the old Payless building. The company does not own Pickle Barrel Cafe or Studio Designs Printing.
“K Beauty Supply moved up the street because we needed that additional square footage for Hobby Lobby,” Brozovic said. “A notice will be placed on the door at some point at Hobby Lobby [regarding job applications].”
The crafts and homeware store carries more than 600,000 products in 13 departments such as crafts, frames, fabric, jewelry, arts and hobbies.
Dunkin’ Donuts/Baskin-Robbins is slated to open by the end of September in the former 3,200 square-foot Payless building. The eatery and coffee shop will serve up its famous coffee and baked goods to Milledgeville patrons in just weeks.
“Most of the equipment is in. When we get everything in, then we can get our certificate of occupancy,” said Amin Premjee, franchisee of the local Dunkin’ Donuts. “We held a job fair at Georgia College and the Department of Labor already. If anyone else is interested in applying, they can come by the store and fill out an application. I’ll start with about 25 employees. We will start training employees next week.”
Outdoor patio seating will be available as well as free Wi-Fi and a small rentable conference space for $10 per hour. The local Dunkin’ Donuts will be open from 5 a.m. to 11 p.m. everyday.
“There’s nothing similar to Dunkin’ Donuts in Milledgeville. There’s no hard ice-cream store in the area either; Baskin-Robbins has real hard ice-cream taste as well as cakes,” Premjee said. “This is a great area to be in with the lake and colleges in town. Milledgeville didn’t have anything comparable so this is a good spot to be in.”
Dunkin’ Donuts sold 2.4 billion donuts last year at its restaurants in 31 countries, states the company website.
Headquartered in northeast Atlanta, Halpern Enterprises, a family-owned and operated business since the 1960s, owns more than 3.5 million square feet of leasable space in 33 retail properties.
“We’re very excited Hobby Lobby and Dunkin’ Donuts are approaching their opening dates,” Brozovic said. “We look forward to the community shopping at both.”
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