D'IBERVILLE, MS (WLOX) - The Promenade Shopping Center in D'Iberville is a hub of activity.
"Just getting ready. Getting parking lots cleaned. Basically you can tell by looking around that most of the construction is done at this point," said Jamey Flegal, Senior Leasing Manager for the development company CBL.
Some 30 shops and restaurants offer a variety of local, regional, and national retailers. Target is perhaps the most prominent tenant at the Promenade. There's also much anticipation of the Olive Garden returning to the coast. The restaurant is in the process of hiring workers.
"I'm most excited about Olive Garden opening up, that was one of my favorite restaurants before it got knocked down in the storm," said Monique Moffett of Biloxi.
Other eateries add flavor to the mix, like Red Lobster, Chick-Fil-A, and Newk's Express Café based in Jackson.
"We're also bringing in Five Guys Burgers and Fries. It's a national concept. We've got the Aristo's concept, which is like a Greek sandwich shop," said Flegal.
On the retail side, Michaels, Marshall's, PetSmart, Best Buy, Dick's Sporting Goods and Kohl's offer shoppers plenty of choices.
"Where they're having to currently drive to Slidell or Mobile or Hattiesburg, those choices that they're currently driving for are now here on the Mississippi Gulf Coast," said Flegal.
Cell phone companies, beauty salons, and a shoe shop called the Watermelon Patch are also part of the $90 million development. The shopping center will celebrate its grand opening on October 11th. Some businesses plan to open a little earlier.
"It's a really rare and exciting opportunity to be able to have a project like this on the corner of two interstates," said Flegal. "Come check us out in October."
A couple of retailers, like Kohl's, will open in the spring of 2010. The development company says more shops are on the way. The shopping center is expected to create more than 500 jobs and pump about $4 million in annual sales tax into the local economy.