Thompson Square'd: Developer looks for exponential growth with renovations, new building

Drew Butler
The former Orscheln building at Thompson Square is currently under renovation. Once complete, it will look like the rest of the renovated spaces and contain a doctor's office and eight additional spaces for new business.

For the past year and a half, renovations have been underway at Thompson Square, the shopping center formerly known as Tiffany Plaza. Owner James Thompson said he expects the project to continue for about the same length of time. The crew is currently focused on the former Orscheln building, and once that project nears completion, they plan to start construction on a new facility that will be situated in front of the complex.

“Right now we are renovating the old Orscheln building, and we’ve got a doctor’s office that will be taking up about 6,000-square feet in the southeast corner,” Thompson said. “Then we’re going to be putting eight additional spots into the building. The finished design and landscaping will resemble the work we’ve already done.”

Thompson said the new building will be located near the entrance sign and will face West Broadway. The completed building will contain three 1,400-square foot spaces and two 1,750-square foot spaces.

Thompson said he has already been receiving inquiries about the spaces in the former Orscheln building, so he thinks they will all go quickly.

“Out of everything that we’ve remodeled so far, we’re completely full except for one section,” Thompson said. “When we bought the place I think we had four tenants plus Patrillos, and we remodeled them while they were open for business. Our biggest challenge has been getting the spaces ready fast enough. it’s just been one after another.”

Thompson said he hopes to fill the former Walls building with a big box store or grocery store.

He said the next business set to open in the facility will be Gabby’s Southern Cuisine, and the restaurant will focus on contemporary versions of soul food and barbecue. The restaurant is planned to open Labor Day Weekend.

While construction on the entire project is going according to plan, Thompson said he too is beginning to feel the effects of the lumber shortage and higher prices.

“We’ve just been putting the finishing touches on a lot of spots, so we haven’t had any big orders until recently,” Thompson said. “Just yesterday was the first time we’ve placed a substantial lumber order, and it’s not just been a little bump in the price, it’s crazy. I’ve just paid double what I normally would for a piece of plywood. We bought a stockpile of it for fear of it going up even more. That’s tough, and that’s a concern, but what do you do?”