Building Investment

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Meridian shoppers will soon have more places to spend their dollars. College Park Shopping Center is adding two new tenants and expanding one existing tenant later this fall.

Blockbuster Video and Dollar General will be the two new stores, while Big Lots will be moving into a much larger building.

Bob Malone, of Acme Realty, which owns College Park, says these additions reflect normal changes in the life of a shopping center.

"Shopping centers go through stages and that every 10 years or so, you need to renovate one and bring in new tenants and freshen the appearance of the center and keep it up to date with what customers in the neighborhood are looking for when they're shopping," said Malone.

With the recent tumblings of the stock market, many would think now isn't the best time for businesses to open new locations. But Malone says stores like Blockbuster are more concerned with long-term investments, rather than the day-to-day happenings on Wall Street.

"When you see these national corporations willing to locate new stores in our town, in our shopping centers in our area, they're investing their own money to do that and they're making a long-term bet on the future of Meridian," said Malone.

This will be the third renovation in the 32-year history of the College Park Shopping Center. And Malone believes the additions of new stores and renovation of old ones won't be ending anytime soon.

"Based on the activity that we are seeing when our phones are ringing and people are looking, I would predict that there will be some more additions to College Park in the coming months," said Malone.