Work to start on new ‘Cimarron Plaza’ shopping center at 8th St. and Hwy 24

       Plans are close to the hammer-and-nails stage for the new “Cimarron Plaza” shopping center at the northeast corner of Eighth Street and Highway 24.
       Phase 1 will involve “quite a significant remodel” of the currently empty restaurant building, according to Robert Edgar, vice president of Southwestern Properties LLC, which is handling the development.
       The 10,000-square-foot structure was a Western Sizzlin' franchise for many years and most recently Rita's Fajitas restaurant.
       For Cimarron Plaza, the space will be divided into three units, which are to be ready for occupancy by early summer. Work should start soon: “We just closed on a construction loan,” Edgar said.
       The work is being done by Robinson Construction.
       One unit will become a Borriello Brothers pizza restaurant, another will be a 7-Eleven convenience store. Boriello is a New York-style pizza chain; it currently has a restaurant at 215 E. Platte Ave.
       The middle space in the building, about 4,000 square feet, is available. Southwestern would particularly like to put in a liquor or wireless store. Asked why these two retail options, Edgar explained that they are product types which “are just not very well served” in that location. “It's the gateway to the Westside,” he said. “I think a liquor store would be a home run, for people heading to Skyway or to the mountains.”
       The location in general should work out well, chiefly because of good visibility and accessibility, as well as ample parking, Edgar said.
       Waiting in the wings, after Phase 1, are two other major proposed site upgrades: a second one-story building, 9,000 square feet in size; and a second access, off Seventh Street (the only current way in or out is a right-in/right-out from Eighth Street). However, plans for these have not yet been submitted to City Planning, which would require a development plan because these would represent “footprint” changes on the 2.36-acre property.
       Located about 50 feet east of the current building, the new building would have probably four or five commercial tenants, Edgar said, depending on the types of uses that go in. “We've had one group looking at 4,000 square feet, another at the whole building. It depends on who steps forward first.”
       About 10 feet higher than the parking lot, Seventh Street has houses on either side and currently stops at an alley near the lot's northeast corner.

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