After we finished talking about the Red Cat Consignment fiasco last week, I asked Lake Highlands Shopping Village property manager Vicky Gillispie how leasing was going at the center, which is located smack-dab in a residential area off Bucker and Northcliff. Gillispie says she’s working on a couple of good-sized leases, and she says overall the center is doing well.

Longtime tenants Alfonso’s, Gold’s Gym (the latest of a couple of gyms in that spot) and Farrow & Farrow CPA have been joined by Keep-U-N-Stitches, Fuller Brush, Amanda Dalton School of Dance and lots of other neighborhood-oriented shops. And don’t forget about the Green Spot on the corner.

"It’s a lot of entrepreneurs, a lot of small people who worked for companies are looking for space to start their own businesses," Gillispie says. In addition to ground-floor retail space, the property has about 12 small office suites (250-500 square feet), and Gillispie says the spaces lease for $250 to $500 monthly, including all bills; businesses just need to hook up their own phone and internet connections.

The people she’s talking with typically live nearby, have been downsized from larger companies, and now they’re trying to put together something they can control and operate on their own.

"They’ve always had this dream of opening their own business, and they’re taking the money they got for leaving their old job and looking at starting something. I see a lot of people saying, ‘Here’s what I have done all my life, but this is what I’m going to do now.’"