Screen Shot 2013-06-27 at 11.44.45 AM

When I first heard about Half Price Books developing the land next door to its flagship store on Northwest Highway, I thought maybe the plan was to pack up and move across the street. It’s not, says executive vice president Kathy Doyle Thomas. The Half Price Books flagship will be staying as is, but Thomas does have plans to freshen up the neighborhood with a brand new, bustling shopping center.

The property in question is the space around and including the Starbucks at the northeast corner of Northwest and Shady Brook. Half Price Books, which operates 113 stores in 16 states, has been buying up the land in pieces for the past several years, and it finally secured the entire six acres with the purchase of the Starbucks in 2006. The time wasn’t right in 2006, but now that the economy is picking up, Thomas says they’re ready to move forward with the development.

Thomas and her team have been talking with national retailers and restaurants about options for the space, although she says she isn’t ready to reveal which stores her team and Lincoln Properties Co., who is their broker for the project, are talking with just yet. She does know they’re not interested in cheap fast food joints, and they are open to talking with local retailers or restaurants as well.

“The goal is to put in some great neighborhood restaurant and stores,” Thomas says. “Part of the reason why we bought it was because we wanted it to be an inviting corner for our customers.”

Right now there’s one 55,000 square foot building on the property, which used to be the old warehouse for Half Price Books. They plan to spruce that up to anchor the development with one or two retailers, and then drop two or three smaller buildings on the site, which will be either more retail or restaurants.

The Starbucks will stay, but Thomas says they plan to rework the parking lot. So if you’ve ever attempted to park there or fight your way into the drive-thru, that should be music to your ears.

If you’ve been over there in the past couple months, you might’ve noticed they tore down the old office buildings to the east of the Starbucks in April, but we shouldn’t expect to see construction for a little while still, Thomas says.