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(Beloit, WI) By Geoff Bruce, Beloit Daily News

Plans continue to come together for Commercial Property Group’s new business center located at 2850 Milwaukee Road in Beloit.

The 9,000-square-foot retail center has experienced a slight delay. However, the strip is expected to at least finish space for its first tenant, Arby’s, in time for a May 1 opening.

“It’s similar to all developers. It’s been a challenge this winter in getting projects done. I still believe that Arby’s will be open May 1,” Commercial Property Group partner Joel Patch said. “I think the other spaces may not be available until June 1.”

AT&T has signed on as another tenant on the west end of the complex while Arby’s will occupy the easternmost space.

“We still have three spaces that have not been leased out. We’re pouring concrete as we go for the spaces that do get leased out,” Patch said. “It’s a lot easier to put the stuff in and get the space ready depending on what the use is going to be.”

Patch says Commercial Property Group has received letters of intent expressing interest in the center’s other three spaces, but that any potential leases are in the distance.

“We’re just trying to get the basics down and trying to negotiate,” Patch said. “The devil’s in the details.”

Patch declined to provide details on the letters of intent he has received, but he did hint that one of the potential tenants would be satisfying for those with a sweet tooth. Commercial Property Group is operating with the intent of filling all three remaining spaces with retailers.

“We’re looking strictly at retail stuff. That’s what it’s always been set up for,” Patch said.

With Arby’s moving into the new center from its current location at 2900 Milwaukee Rd., Patch and his colleagues are also attempting to lease out the soon-to-be-vacant separate building, most likely to continue to serve as a restaurant.

Total costs for the center have increased slightly, with officials now expecting a bill of around $2 million.

“It’s a little bit more. We wanted to make sure we put out a good product,” Patch said. “It’s all steel construction. We didn’t use timber for framing. We wanted to spend a little bit more for a quality product that will be around for a long time.”

Patch says that finding tenants has been no more or less difficult than he anticipated going into the project.

“It’s exactly the way I expected. I think that we are past the worst of the worst in the economy and that’s why we took the risk to build this in the first place,” Patch said. “We believed it was a good risk; a calculated risk. We knew it would take some time.”

The business center is being built by Corporate Contractors, Inc.

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