Work is being done to get a pair of high visibility strip shopping centers more attractive to new retailers.
A strip mall in the 1400 block of North Broad Street has been mostly empty since Dollar General left for a new building. Another strip mall on the 1600 block of Shorter Avenue in West Rome on the outside looks like it has been ready for tenants for months, still has a number of issues to be resolved before a certificate of occupancy is issued.
The strip mall in West Rome, the former World Hi-Fi site, is being developed by Mike Jaffar who said Monday a series of issues, ranging from a personal heart attack to multiple deaths in his family and finally the loss of his primary investor has held that project up.
In North Rome, Karim Dholakiya turned down an auction bid of $395,000 last year and has started work to refinish the facade to make the building more attractive.
Jaffar said that he is actively seeking to get the building in West Rome approved for his certificate of occupancy. He said work to install sprinklers was completed last week and he has contractors who are addressing other check list types of items before getting final inspections.
“Hopefully next week I’ll get the certificate of occupancy,” Jaffar said. “I’ve got about eight of them already rented out and I’ve got two more left. I’ve got one more guy looking at it this week.”
Up in North Rome, work on facade changes were the focus of a stop work order by the Rome Floyd Building Inspection office because the work has not been permitted.
That issue was resolved late last week, prompting Inspection office Director Howard Gibson to say,”At least they’re dressing the place up.”
Tax records indicate the current value of the strip on Shorter Avenue is $402,928.
During the auction last year, three bidders were active in the sale but Dholakiya turned down the final offer. Auctioneer Lou Dempsey said a month later, the owners came back to him to see if any of the three were still interested in the property but at that time, Dempsey said no one wanted to re-engage in negotiations.
“All three bidders had done their due diligence,” Dempsey said. “I thought the high bid was a solid offer.”
Unlike the West Rome strip mall, the North Rome strip mall does have what appears to be three occupants: a barber shop, a church and an athletic apparel shop.
The North Broad center has a value, according to Floyd County tax records, of $553,951
Meanwhile, the old Army-Navy store building in the 1500 block of North Broad, is also empty.
Sitting between Dholakiya’s strip center and the new Dollar General, that property has 13,000 square feet of space and seven store fronts.