Mount Vernon Plaza Moves Ahead
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Mount Vernon Plaza Moves Ahead

Two anchor stores open; other stores sign contracts for pad sites.

Traffic is flowing a little more smoothly through Mount Vernon Plaza now that the center road is open. It’s a clear sign that progress is being made. Not only is the road open, but two of the anchor stores — PETsMART and Bed, Bath & Beyond opened this week. Michaels will open Sept. 11.

Wayne Compton, the store manager of the new PETsMART, which opened on Monday, said that everything is state of the art and they will offer many services for pets including pet training. They have a dedicated area separate from the store to hold courses such as Puppy Head Start, Basic Education and Advanced Learning. There is room for pet owners to observe and interact with their pets.

“I really like this feature — it’s a great service,” Compton said. “You can teach any dog to learn, even a 12-year-old. When dogs learn to behave then the rest of the family is happy.”

As he showed off the store, he explained that this new store has a much brighter and more open presentation than their existing stores. Compton also explained that the fish department is comprised of low-pressure tanks which are easier to maintain. Dozens of tanks hold a variety of aquarium fish; they also have a section for pond fish.

Near the fish section is the adoption area. PETsMART is working with two agencies — Madison-Greene Humane Society and Last Chance Animal Rescue League. A dedicated area allows customers to visit with the pets and complete an application form if desired.

A bird section features hand-fed cockatiels and parakeets. In the back of the store is a salon. Lisa Beynon is in charge of this section. The puppy package, which includes a shampoo, blow dry, ear cleaning and new bow, is $9.99; nail trimming is available for an additional $5.

“They really do a great job,” Compton said.

Adjacent to the salon is Banfield Pet Hospital, which is affiliated with PETsMART. Customers can schedule checkups for their pets with on-site veterinarian Meredith Binder, DVM.

Gregg Hensler is excited about his new Bed, Bath & Beyond store which opened on Wednesday.

“We have a big, beautiful, clean store and an awesome selection,” Hensler said. “As always, we’ll be emphasizing our superior customer service.”

Hensler said that he had worked at Beacon Mall about 10 years ago, and that Route One is a lot nicer than he remembered and is looking great.

In addition to the anchor stores, three new stores have signed contracts for the pad sites. They include Carter’s Kids, Coldstone Creamery and Starbucks. Activity is taking place elsewhere on Richmond Highway — Lara VandeWalle-Fritts, executive director, SFDC, said that the new Safeway is finally going to open on Nov. 4, 2005. Further up the highway, both TGI Friday’s and Silver Diner have filed plans for the Beacon Center.