ROCKINGHAM — A trip down U.S. 74 Business through Rockingham and Hamlet shows that the highway’s designation is living up to its name.
Four new businesses are in different stages of being built on Broad Avenue — Dunkin’ Donuts and Kay Jewelers in the Richmond Plaza shopping center, Lidl grocery store beside Zaxby’s and Lane and Associates Family Dentistry in Hamlet.
Real estate developer Tri City Inc. CEO Neil Robinette confirmed Thursday that the jewelry store will share space with the doughnut shop, with each tenant taking up roughly 2,000 square feet a piece. Robinette said they are hoping to have both stores open by the end of October.
“We’re pretty excited for both Dunkin’ and Kay to offer something different,” he said. “It compliments the shopping center here having a nice well-known branded coffee shop. It’s gonna be pretty exciting having another jewelry store to compliment our tenants in the shopping center and bringing their business into town. We’re definitely looking forward to it.”
Many residents of Richmond County have noticed a large tract of land being cleared off beside Zaxby’s, a parcel that will soon become Lidl, a German-based supermarket chain.
Rockingham City Planner John Massey said Thursday that no building permits had been submitted yet for the store to the city, but it’s something he expects to take place in the coming weeks. Drawings of the new grocery store have been approved, he added.
Lidl has planned on jumping over the Atlantic Ocean and into the United States, focusing its efforts on the east coast. According to Lidl, it has 10,000 stores in 26 countries across Europe and more than 230,000 employees. The company plans to opening 100 stores in America, according to Reuters.
The main competition for Lidl is Aldi, another German-based supermarket chain that will become a close neighbor once Lidl is built. While Lidl hasn’t opened any store in the U.S. yet, Aldi has been in America since 1973. According to Aldi’s website, that chain has 4,000 stores worldwide and 1,300 in the U.S. The Lidl store layout is similar to Aldi, where products are sold in cases that customers grab from.
MOVING DOWN THE LANE
In Hamlet, Lane and Associates Family Dentistry will make the move from the current office — across the street from Food Lion — to less than a mile away, beside State Employees Credit Union.
Office Manager Chelsea Billingsley said the staff hopes to be moved by the end of January or beginning of February if everything goes to plan, and will expand to include specialty dentistry such as oral surgery.
“Dr. Craig Allison and Dr. Michael Kinno will be moving with us, and we’ll have other dentist and specialty dentists,” said Billingsley. “We need more room. We’re growing out of the practice. We need more places to do dentistry. We won’t have to refer the patients out if we have he specialties in office. It can all be done in house.”
With a new bank and soon a new dentist office side by side on U.S. 74 in Hamlet, City Manager Marcus Abernethy said he hopes the area will become a destination for other new businesses in the future.
“The city has been working recently to expand utility lines in that area, as well as additional hydrants for increased fire protection in that general vicinity so that State Employees Credit Union would be covered better, and that would also cover the new dentist office that’s being built,” said Abernethy. “I think that area is a very attractive area for development, and I look forward to seeing continued development in the future.”
Speaking on the new office, he added, “Dr. Lane’s office has been a business in our community for some time. Their relocation to a new facility is very exciting news, and the City of Hamlet is excited to hear this news, and that Dr. Lane’s office is going to continue to be such a great community partner and do business in the city limits of Hamlet.”
Reach reporter Matt Harrelson at 910-817-2674 and follow him on Twitter @mattyharrelson.