Three retailers sign on at RiverGate South shopping center

jmarks@lakewyliepilot.comNovember 14, 2013 

— HomeGoods, Michaels and Ulta Beauty are the first stores announced for the second phase of RiverGate.

Childress Klein Properties has broken ground on The Shops at RiverGate South. The 22-acre development will have 150,000 square feet of additional space beside the existing RiverGate shopping center at N.C. 160 and 49. RiverGate opened in 2006, and has 600,000 square feet of retail space and is home to The Home Depot, Target and others.

HomeGoods, Michaels and Ulta Beauty have signed leases and will anchor the expansion, Childress Klein announced Thursday. The shopping center is scheduled to open in late summer.

HomeGoods is a discount fashion retailer affiliated with The TJX Companies, including T.J. Maxx and Marshalls. There are more than 400 HomeGoods stores, the nearest in Charlotte at Blakeney and Sharon Corners.

With more than 1,100 stores in the U.S. and Canada, Michaels is the continent’s largest arts and crafts specialty retailer. Stores carry almost a dozen exclusive brands from scrapbooking supplies to frames, shadowboxes, beads, charms and decorative accessories.

Ulta Beauty is an Illinois-based retailer of salon products and services. The company operates more than 600 retail stores in 46 states.

The nearest Michaels and Ulta to Lake Wylie, currently, are in Gastonia and Rock Hill.

Stephanie Foxwell and Jennifer Borders met Friday morning with a group of friends to shop at RiverGate.

“We’re excited about it,” Foxwell said of the new phase. “We live right near here, so it’s great to have these places so close.”

The group of friends and other customers nearby liked the new additions, saying they’d also like something like an organic grocery store and a steakhouse. They are hopeful that with the full expansion and with an outlet mall project coming a few miles north, there will be more offerings to choose from.

Growth at RiverGate is especially important for locals, they said, around the holidays when traffic makes trips to other shopping centers more time-consuming. Regardless of traffic, RiverGate is still closer than, say, SouthPark.

“For us, it’s still a 25-minute drive,” Borders said.

There are a few remaining openings in RiverGate, including two spaces next to Art Space Studio. Owner Hillary Moulliet said the new phase will be a welcomed addition. She hopes it will generate interest to help the existing RiverGate, too. She isn’t worried about too similar of a store coming into the second phase and taking business.

“We’re pretty unique,” she said.

Childress Klein also is working with a larger retail project in Steele Creek, the Charlotte Premium Outlets at I-485 and Steele Creek Road. The first phase of that project will have 400,000 square feet of retail space and is set to open next summer. Construction began in late September. More than 90 retailers will set up shop there, employing more than 900.

Saks Fifth Avenue OFF 5th is one retailer that’s been named there.

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