HIGHLAND| A corporate burrito joint, an immediate care clinic and other new businesses are coming to one of Lake County's largest shopping centers.
Chipotle Mexican Grill, The Vitamin Shoppe, Massage Envy Spa and Physicians Urgent Care have opened or will soon open in an outlot near an entrance of the Highland Grove Shopping Center. The sprawling 603,812-square-foot outdoor shopping center is located at Indianapolis Boulevard and Main Street in Highland.
The restaurant and stores are moving into a four-unit strip mall that Gallant Building Solutions built at 10343 Indianapolis Blvd., where a Gino's East pizzeria used to be. The new building has more than 12,200 square feet of retail space, Highland Building Commissioner Kenneth Mika said.
Bennigan's Grill & Tavern and Brewski's Wings & Things also had been located at that site, which had been inauspicious for sit-down restaurants. Fast casual chain Chipotle, which has only company-managed stores and does not franchise, will open its fourth Northwest Indiana location at the shopping center.
Chipotle plans to move into a 2,400-square-foot space sometime in mid-October, Mika said.
The Highland eatery will be just five miles away from the restaurant Chipotle opened on Calumet Avenue in Munster in November. Highland Grove is already home to Qdoba Mexican Grill, a rival with a similar menu and emphasis on fresh ingredients.
The addition of new businesses shows the shopping area is resilient and prosperous, said Cecile Petro, Highland's director of redevelopment.
"Now the mall is completely occupied," she said. "It was mostly occupied even through the recession, and any vacancies filled up quite fast."
Highland Grove is a prime retail spot, since more than 40,000 vehicles drive on Indianapolis Boulevard and 20,000 pass by on Main Street every day, Petro said.
Popular stores such as Kohl's, Dick's Sporting Goods and Best Buy also lure in more retailers, she said.
"The quality of the businesses is attractive to new businesses," Petro said. "Quality begets quality."
New Jersey-based nutritional supplement giant The Vitamin Shoppe already opened a store in the new strip mall. Massage Envy, a chain with locations throughout the Midwest, plans to open a spa in October.