WINDER - The massive parking lot at the Barrow Crossing Shopping Center is starting to fill up with cars as construction equipment makes its way out. That's because, one by one, the stores are beginning to open.
The Target store, complete with a Starbucks inside, opened this week and held its official grand opening celebration Saturday. The Belk department store is expected to open its doors Wednesday.
"About time," Winder resident Sam Morrison said of Barrow getting a Target. She and her husband, Lew, stopped by the store Friday night to take advantage of the Starbucks inside.
"We moved out from Lawrenceville so it was like coming out to nothing," Lew Morrison said. "It's nice to have a Belk and stuff like that so we won't mind living here as much as we used to."
"We're finally getting some shopping, which is much needed," Sam Morrison added.
Winder resident Kriss Slayton was shopping at the new store for the first time Friday night with friend April Davis.
"I love Target," she said. "We normally go to Gwinnett or Athens, but this is right here. I will never be at Wal-Mart no more."
Signs posted at the Staples office supply store read "opening soon" and the PetSmart is expected to officially open for business April 4. Staples also indicated that it is currently hiring employees for the new location and interested applicants should check its Web site for details.
For food options, a McDonald's with dual drive-throughs is at the entrance to the shopping center when coming off Ga. Highway 316/U.S. Highway 29. It's at the corner of Loganville Highway and Carl Bethlehem Road.
In addition to the big-box retailers at Barrow Crossing, there are also parcels in the shopping center available for smaller businesses. The only store that appears to be moving in anytime soon is the clothing store Rue 21. For more information on these units, call 770-352-0203.
The vast open space where the shopping center stands still has remnants of the past, too. By driving down Carl Bethlehem Road to get to the other side of the shopping center and the already opened Home Depot, cows can still be seen grazing.
Calls to the leasing agent of the shopping center and the contractor were not returned before press time.