Wednesday, February 08, 2017 - Updated: 1:04 AM
Editor's Note: The following story was originally printed in the Herald Ledger's sister paper the Mayfield-Messenger last week. The new investment is being done by the same parent company that owns the Eddyville Mall.
A local businessman says he is trying to "inject life" into the Mayfield Plaza with around $1 million in upgrades.
Chris Burnett, CEO of CEB Investments, said he had been making plans over the last couple of years to purchase the Mayfield Plaza, finally closing the deal in December. The plaza includes not only the old Walmart building and connected businesses surrounding that lot, but the Snappy Tomato and Princess Theaters, he said.
The CEB office is located on the second floor of the Regions Bank building on Paris Road, which Burnett said he purchased in 2012. He said the bank building was originally part of a roughly 30-acre plot with the plaza, but it was sold off separately in the 1970s.
"The remaining parcel with the plaza and the out lots was 29 acres, so I actually put the 30 acres back together," Burnett said. "We bought it with the hopes that we could put some money into it and give it a facelift and bring it back to life and get some new business in.
"We're going to have to spend a sizable amount of money, but we're planning to redo the asphalt for the parking and we're going to be doing some work on the buildings."
Burnett said he expected to spend more than $1 million on the plaza improvements. A portion of the plaza already has a new roof system, and Burnett said the rest would get new roofing soon. He said he would also be updating the heating, ventilation and air-conditioning systems and upgrading all the exterior lighting to LED.
"That will be under the awnings and the parking," he said. "Today, there's about 80 percent of the parking lot lights that haven't even been on at night, so we want to bring it back to being fully lit so it's safe at night for shoppers."
Burnett said repaving the parking lot would be one of the biggest expenditures. He said he is also planning to repaint the face of the buildings and repair the stucco on the exterior to give the storefronts a "more modern look."
Burnett said he has been in the real estate industry about 20 years and founded CEB Investments in 2003. The business started in a storage unit and eventually moved into an old house before it bought the Regions Bank building and moved into its current headquarters in 2012.
Burnett said the business mostly flipped houses until the housing market started slowing down. CEB still holds several residential rental properties, but the company began transitioning into a focus on commercial properties in 2009, he said. Some of its notable current holdings include the Pear Tree Mall and Fountain Square in Mayfield and the Eddyville Mall.
Since CEB's headquarters is located in front of the Mayfield Plaza, Burnett said he had to look at it in "a state of despair" every day for the last few years. He said this was one of the factors in the purchase.
James and Kayla Crowfoot said they started their closeout sales business, Red Dot of Mayfield, in Hickory last February and then moved to one of Burnett's Mayfield properties at the corner of Broadway and Pryor Street in April. They moved to the Mayfield Plaza in October, and they say they are very encouraged by the investments Burnett and CEB are making in the property.
They said they were especially looking forward to getting a new roof and a new door on the storefront.
"I'm just grateful that (Burnett) is actually taking the time and making this place better," Kayla said. "I think business will pick up, definitely."