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Governors Square gets new look, tenants coming next

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After sprucing up the old shopping center, new owners say there is a lot of activity

By Todd Martin

The east side of Shelbyville has slowly but surely getting a facelift, and it’s starting to payoff.

The upgrades have come at Governors Square, the original shopping center on that side of Shelbyville, and Lee Webb, a commercial real estate broker and member of the ownership group Governors Square LLC, said things are happening quickly.

“We’ve put a lot of time and money into the center, and it’s been very encouraging so far,” he said. “We believe this is prime real estate because of where it’s located [at the corner of KY 53/Mount Eden Road and U.S. 60], and its best days are ahead. If you haven’t seen it in six months or a year, you might not even recognize what it used to look like.”

Although he said he couldn’t comment on any potential new businesses yet, Webb did say that they are discussing leases and letters of intent with two potential new occupants.

“We’re very close,” he said. “And they would be in the larger sections.”

There are currently three open storefronts, two between 15,000 and 20,000 square feet and another smaller one. However, one of the larger locations could be split into two storefronts.

Webb’s group has painted the building and is working on completing the trim paint. They’ve also upgraded the lights and soon will begin to resurface the parking lot.

They’ve also closed off the courtyard/hallway in the back corner of the shopping center, and made more usable space.

“We were working on the outside, and then as the weather started to turn, we moved inside,” Webb said. “We gutted the empty locations, I’d say about thirty-eight thousand square feet, and cleared them out from floor to ceiling, so prospective clients could actually picture their businesses in here. We tried to make the spaces more inviting, so they could really envision being there.”

They also streamlined the center in the back corner, adjacent to Paradise Wine and Spirits.

“That area had a lot of unusable space, and it just wasn’t a modern looking area,” he said. “It’s the area where Rite Aid and Begley’s drugs used to be. Now it’s a fifteen-thousand-square-foot area that is much more inviting and more usable.”

All of this leads up to finding new tenants.

“Everything is ready and prepared,” Webb said. “It’s just really exciting to see this moving forward and becoming the vibrant shopping center it once was.”

Webb, who was born and raised in Shelbyville, said bringing the center back to prominence is pretty personal for him.

“I’ve been in commercial real estate for seventeen years, and we’ve done some pretty big things here in Shelby County,” he said. “But this place is special. I actually had my first job in Kroger when it was here [where the Christ Community Church and Sears are now] and in high school I remember, we called it driving the square. We’d come up here and drive around the square.

“To see it coming back to life is my goal, and we’re on the way. We in believe this location and think the demand is growing for something on this side of town.”