D'IBERVILLE, MS (WLOX) - Chick-Fil-A welcomed its first customers before the sun came up Thursday. It's the newest addition to the shops at the Promenade.
"It's a very big day," says store operator Max Benson. "We're so glad to be in D'Iberville."
Benson is excited about opening his store at the Promenade because he knows he's in good company.
"We have some great tenants here with Target, Marshalls, Best Buy, Dick Sporting Goods, and we also have great interstate traffic here. I have great expectations for both this store and the Promenade."
And he has good reason to. D'Iberville City Manager Michael Janus says so far, business has boomed at the city's newest shopping hub.
"It certainly has beat our expectations," says Janus. "We knew there was a lot of pent up demand for retail and restaurant establishments in that area, but certainly we did not conceive that we would have this much pent up demand. It's been phenomenal."
Janus says in the month he's been city manager, he's been to a ribbon cutting every week for the Promenade. So far there's only been one speed bump with the massive project, and that's traffic. But Janus says they're handling it.
"Short term, we have the police; we're overriding the lights when we need to. Long-term, we have some additional transportation improvements, $100 million plus coming for it."
But until then, traffic will continue to plague the I-110 corridor, because even more stores are coming to the Promenade in the coming months.
Janus tells WLOX, "There's going to be about 600,000 square feet of retail space, approximately $150 million worth of investment out there."
It's an investment, that so far, proves to be worthwhile for D'Iberville.
"The promenade is just the first success story for D'Iberville," says Janus. "We've got many more coming. We're working on some projects like the downtown revitalization. There's two other corridors up there at the interstate that we hope to build out. So D'Iberville, we've certainly arrived, and we're continuing to move forward."
City leaders anticipate another ten stores to open at the Promenade by next spring. One of those will be anchor store Khols.
By the way, Janus says the city expects shops at the Promenade to bring in about $2.5 million dollars in sales tax revenue in the first year. The state will get about $16 million.