DESTIN — Site work on the Destin Commons expansion has been completed and construction on the actual buildings is planned to begin early next month.
Destin Commons announced the roughly 100,000 square foot expansion, which is being built in the southwest corner of the front parking lot facing U.S. Highway 98, in September of last year. Work installing the underground utilities and building pads started soon after the announcement.
“We have completed all of the underground utilities, we’ve got final permit approval for the buildings, we’re waiting on one final document before we can close on our loan, but everything is moving towards June 1 as a construction start date,” said Bob Perry, general manager of Destin Commons. “We expect to have a couple of major announcements within the next two to three weeks.”
Those announcements will be the names of the two junior anchor businesses in the expanded section of Destin Commons. Most details about the junior anchor stores won’t be released until later this month, but Perry did release a few hints.
“They’re both new to the market,” Perry said. “One is a major fashion retailer and the other one is a restaurant and entertainment concept.”
Over the next two to three weeks, test will be performed on the water systems to make sure everything was installed properly for the fire hydrants and the future building’s sprinkler systems. Compaction test will also be completed on the building pads at the construction site.
Destin Commons opened in November of 2003 with 400,000 square feet of retail, restaurant and office space, as well as the Rave Motion Pictures movie theater. Rave was purchased in December of last year and renamed AMC Destin Commons 14.
The center is currently 100 percent leased and Perry expects that to continue until the expansion opens. Designs for the expansion have not been completely finalized yet, but preliminary plans called for more than 20 retail spaces and three restaurants.
Perry said they have received commitments or letters of intent for about 70 percent of the expansion and he expects to be at 90 to 95 percent full or higher by the time they open.
Destin Commons is still targeting a mid-2014 opening for the expansion.
“There will be kind of a staggered opening with certain components of it getting open as early mid-April and others coming on in May, June and July,” Perry said. “Hopefully nothing later than July. It depends on the length build out and the permitting process for each of the tenants.”