Bardstown Road’s Highlands retail corridor, an indie biz bastion, is about to get a little mall-store gloss with its first national lifestyle retailer.
Stuart Flowers, owner of Stuart Properties, confirmed to Insider Louisville that Urban Outfitters has signed a lease to replace a closing Blockbuster video rental store in his Tyler Park Plaza at 1140 Bardstown Rd.
Yesterday, Insider Louisville broke the story that the Philadelphia-based apparel and interior furnishings chain is taking the Highlands space.
Amanda Hershey, public relations assistant at Urban Outfitters’ headquarters, confirmed the company’s arrival here, but said she didn’t have details.
Flowers said construction crews will start the tenant finish work in March, which will include an interior and exterior transformation.
The store is on schedule to open mid-2012, he said.
For Urban Outfitters, the bunker-like Blockbuster space will be transformed, opened up more the thoroughfare with the addition of glass into the facade and a second entrance from Bardstown Road, Flowers said.
Urban Outfitters will take both the Blockbuster and the former Knit Nook space for about 10,000 square feet.
Flowers and others predict the addition of the college–to-post-college-oriented brand will transform the urban neighborhood.
“A lot of people don’t go to the Highlands to shop … but they will now,” Flowers said.
“This is great for us,” said Kathy Cary, who owns Lilly’s, A Kentucky Bistro at 1147 Bardstown Rd, directly across from the Tyler Center.
Cary predicted the addition of Urban Outfitterswill bring more foot traffic to the area, which already has a number of thriving independent neighborhood stores and restaurants. Neighboring stores include Keith’s Hardware at 12o1 Bardstown and The Wine Market at 1200 Bardstown.
The nearest apparel/interiors retailer is Clay & Cotton, a three-store, Louisville-based chain with a location two blocks away at 1341 Bardstown. Margy Taylor, who owns Clay & Cotton, was out of town and unavailable for comment.
Urban Outfitters is a youth fashion staple, with a number of its locations in college towns such as Bloomington, Ind.
The chain has won national preservation awards for its retrofitting of old buildings.
In 2007, Urban Outfitters won the National Preservation Honor Award from the National Trust for Historic Preservation for converting several Navy Yard buildings in Philadelphia into its corporate headquarters.
This will be the second planned Louisville store for Urban Outfitters, which owns several apparel brands.
Last week, Oxmoor Center officials announced the company has signed a lease to open an Anthropologie store in the East End mall.
But it’s Urban Outfitter that’s considered the bigger “get” for Louisvillians, making the retail wish lists of people wanting more national shopping – including Insider Louisville.
That said, Urban Outfitters is the latest of a growing list of national brands arriving here including Apple Computers, Trader Joe’s and Gordon Biersch.
So, what’s holding up Brunello Cucinelli?
More as we know more.
About Urban Outfitters: Urban Outfitters carries youth-focused apparel and home furnishings at 194 Urban Outfitters stores in the United States, Canada and Europe, catalogs and websites; 166 Anthropologie stores in the United States, Canada and Europe, catalogs and websites; Free People wholesale, which sells its product to approximately 1,400 specialty stores and select department stores; 60 Free People stores, catalogs and websites, 1 Terrain garden center and website and 1 BHLDN store and website as of December 31, 2011. Urban Outfitters trades on the NASDAQ Exchange under the symbol “URBN.”