BY RYAN MERARD
The newest shopping center right across from CCHS, Cooper Square, is officially in its final steps. Construction has been completed and now it’s all up to the businesses to make way onto the plaza on Stirling Road.
Since the last update, the exterior looks of the shopping center continued to be worked on by the builders. What used to be heaps of sand with the foundations of buildings still visible is now a developed parking lot with all of the asphalt and paint markings established. The buildings themselves are officially done and ready for businesses to set up their stores.
The ongoing pandemic did not serve as a setback to the development of the plaza. Most of the planned work was completed before the coronavirus disrupted public life. The real estate managers of this plaza, Boulten Commercial Real Estate (Boulten CRE), sought to complete this plaza in the summer of 2020, and with finishing their project in July, their objective was attained.
The real estate managers of this plaza, Boulten Commercial Real Estate (Boulten CRE), sought to complete this plaza in the summer of 2020, and with finishing their project in July, their objective was attained.
So, if all the spaces are sold and the building of the complex is officially done, then what’s taking so long?
Some businesses still have some concluding actions to take in terms of certifications and other paperwork. Once these agreements are made and paperwork becomes final, more of these businesses will begin to occupy their physical locations at the plaza in the upcoming weeks and months.
Despite having just a few official stores on the premises, with others still dealing with leasing negotiations, diversity among the type of stores can already be seen. Some of the shops that are confirmed to open in this plaza are a coffee house, ice cream shop, taco restaurant, barbershop, spa, pizza shops and more. The shopping center also has its own Instagram page (@coopersquareplaza) where they will continue to update the city on the new businesses that will enter the community.
“I feel like a lot of kids are going to go to this plaza after school because of all the different [types of] stores that it could have, right across from a couple thousand kids,” senior Zachary Goodstein said.
Some businesses are already being set up at their location, preparing to get their store ready for customers. One of them, F45 Functional Training Gym, is even open for business as of now. The gym focuses on putting their members through intense workouts to lose the most possible calories in 45 minutes, hence the name.
In the case that students go back to in-school learning, traffic already seems hectic enough for students when entering and leaving school. As the plaza starts to fill up with businesses, some believe that traffic could get worse than it already is, with Stirling Road being the main street at the start and end of school.
“I think it was a clever space to put a whole plaza and it will for sure get a lot of business,” senior Andrea Sosa said. “I just think it’ll make it harder for people to get in and out of school because of the traffic it can create.”
As businesses continue to claim their physical locations, all 35 retail spaces will soon be filled up and ready for customers. As of now, stores are steadily occupying their spaces.
Every time that a store makes its way onto the plaza, the plaza’s will make an announcement on their Instagram page. As claimed by Boutlen CRE, expect to see more of these announcements over the approaching months.
“In the near future, more and more of the businesses that have either bought or leased one of our spaces will make their way onto the plaza,” Bouton CRE Sales Associate Marcella Perra said. “There is some work with licensing that has to be dealt with, but by winter we should see a lot more of these businesses being set up in their space and ready to engage with their community.”
Photo by Anabella Garcia