A new store is coming to a shopping hub on Oleander Drive in Wilmington, and a new building is in the works on a former bank site in front of Independence Mall.
Children's consignment store Kid to Kid is closing at the end of the month at Hanover Center, a 325,000-square-foot community shopping center owned by Oleander Company Inc. A new store, Niche. Decor and Gifts, will occupy nearly 6,000 square feet at the center, in a combination of the former Kid to Kid space and that of the previously closed SAS shoe store, said Kevin Gray, who along with his brother, John Gray, owns Custom Home Furniture Galleries, 3514 S. College Road, and Custom Home Staging and Design, 3420 Enterprise Drive, in Northchase Industrial Park.
Kevin Gray said the store will be managed by his wife, Chris Gray, and a friend of hers, DD Bennett.
Sixty percent of the space will be devoted to Bramble, a line of solid mahogany furniture and accessories that includes everything from candlesticks to bedroom suites, while 40 percent will be dedicated to gifts for all types of occasions, including a large area dedicated to gift items for men, he said.
"We're trying to be different than every other gift store in town," Kevin Gray said.
The former SAS space is under renovation right now, Gray said, and the new store is expected to celebrate its grand opening in May.
Oleander Company Inc. is planning to make its own changes to Hanover Center, 3501 Oleander Drive, as a whole. The firm's development manager, Jim Smith, said those changes will be in the form of "façade and landscaping improvements and things that would be attractive to the pedestrian walking up and down the walkway up front."
Local Kid to Kid franchise owner Salem Bartlett is leaving the center after five years.
"We'd come to the end of our lease and it's been a fantastic five-year run, but we're supportive of the changes Hanover Center will be making to take the shopping center to the next level," Bartlett said Wednesday. "Because it was an unexpected move, we weren't prepared to relocate right away, but we hope to come up with a new concept in the next year."
Another factor in the store closure was that with other stores throughout Wilmington that cater to children's consignment customers, the Bartlett family didn't want to take the children-focused business to a new spot where it would be in direct competition with another family-owned business, Salem Bartlett said.
Their potential new concept could be a store with a focus on junior sizes, or clothing for children who are close to or in their tweens and early teens, she said.
As changes are on the way to Hanover Center, Oleander Company Inc. is also planning to begin construction soon on a 4,200-square-foot building at 3512 Oleander Drive
next to Panera Bread in front of Independence Mall, Smith said Tuesday.
The building (rendering by architect Cothran Harris shown above)
will hold Moe's Southwest Grill and an AT&T Wireless location, he said. The site previously held a bank building until it was demolished in 2016.