West Towne Plaza to get three new tenants in the next 12 months


West Towne Plaza will have three new nationally recognized retailers leasing spaces and providing new shopping experiences for White County residents within the next year as Five Below and Shoe Sensation are set to open later this year, and Bealls plans to be open by the end of March 2025.

West Towne Plaza has had more vacancies than occupancies over the past several years. However, since Highland Capital acquired the property last year, there has been a concentrated effort by the company to bring in quality, long-term tenants.

“We are very thrilled to be such a massive part of restoring a large landmark in the city and hope the city is pleased with what we’ve been able to do thus far,” Wyatt Woeltje, principal at Highland Capital, said.

Woeltje has spent time in the past building relationships with companies and building what he says are good partnerships with the retailers. When his company took over West Towne Plaza, he sought out those companies and relied on those relationships to begin filling the vacant spaces in the shopping center that is located directly behind McDonald’s, just off Highway 111.  Since Highland Capital has begun focusing on growth in the Sparta shopping center, West Towne Plaza has gone from having 56 percent of its stores occupied to approximately 96 percent.

“It’s like a domino effect,” he explained. “Build the relationship, create a trusted partnership, have one or two companies commit to being here, then it will fill up.”

With the addition of Five Below, Shoe Sensation, and Bealls - who will move into the large unit that once housed a grocery store at the south end of the plaza - Woeltje said there are just two units available, both of which are under 2,100 square feet. Additionally, there is a pad next to the right of Taco Bell when viewing the property from Highway 111 and land next to Five Below. Woeltje said both the pad and the land have the potential to be developed for additional tenants, should a company be looking to join the rapidly growing shopping center.

“We have had to get creative,” Woeltje said.

He stated he and his company have not been afraid to do the work needed to entice the national retailers to open stores in Sparta.

“Negotiations were thorough and productive with a focus on aligning our mutual goals for community engagement and retail success,” Woeltje said.

“Shoe Sensation is a significant addition to our lineup. Shoe Sensation brings a great variety of brands and styles that cater to families and individuals, enhancing the shopping experience at West Towne Plaza. And bringing Bealls to Sparta has been exciting for us. They are a respected retailer with a commitment to quality and affordability, making them a perfect fit for the shopping center and local community.”

Woeltje said his company will continue to do the work necessary to keep finding tenants for the remaining units in West Towne Plaza.       


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