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Growing the gables

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Shoppes at Blue Gables nearly full

By Ashley Sutter

Located along the flowing business traffic on Main Street sits a building flushed with potential, but like many years before, The Shoppes at Blue Gables often passes our peripheral, rarely catching our gaze.

Renovations, new landscaping and paint jobs have certainly turned the once haggard apartment complex into a rejuvenated open market with artisans and small storefronts, but as the stores fill to near capacity, there is still one portion of the city’s dream that is unfulfilled lacking: the public’s attention. 

Mary Yaeger and Mari Mujica, working at Dogwood Art Gallery, a storefront formed by members of the Shelby Regional Arts Council, said they have been in operation since January but people are just starting to figure out where they are.

Located in a quaint suite unit within the Shoppes at Blue Gables, their artwork adorned just about every inch of the room, from jewelry on a table, to canvases on the wall.  A handful of visitors stopped in Wednesday, perusing the art, gifts and other goods for sale. Yaeger noted that while the artwork in the room is available for purchase, the space is often used for demonstrations and events.

So far, she said, things are going well, but they know as more and more discover the shops beneath the historic the gables, business will be booming.

Of the 11 rentable spaces, 9 are occupied Shelby Preservation Group president Kerry Magansaid. “We have all of ours committed except for two of our suites,” he said, adding that he is confident the facility will be at full-leasing capacity by the end of the year.

In addition to Dogwood Art Gallery, some of the newest tenants include: Sunfish Massage, a therapeutic massage center; Rustic Creations, a repurposed small furniture store set to open next month; La Modista Tailoring and Alterations; Penelope’s Pottery Painting; and ZayPres Old Time Candy, which will host a grand opening event Aug. 19.

The new tents join some Gogh Crazy, Parkside Realty and Commonwealth Capital, leaving just two suites available for rent.

Magan said some potential leases have their eyes set on those spaces but have yet to officially commit.

For those who are a bit hesitant in making that leap, Magan noted that the commission is willing to offer incentives for those needing help getting up and running.

Once the dust has finally settled on the front buildings, Magan admitted they are ready to take a slight rest before addressing the back building.

Magan said they are not yet sure what their plan of action will be, but they hope someone will step up with an idea.

“We have had some interest in the rear building and are looking for some major funding for a good part of it,” he said.

But as for the lower section, he said the books are starting to show an upswing “We’re collecting rents and are starting to see some light of day in our finances and we’re starting to feel pretty good.”