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SouthMarke, a small specialty retail center on Main Street in the mountain resort of Blowing Rock, North Carolina, opened in May 1992. Designed by nationally recognized architect, David Patrick Moses, it was the first state of the art over four unit retail facility in the downtown business district in many years.
SouthMarke’s name is derived from its location on historic, landmark property on the South end of Main Street.
Conceived and built by Florida and Blowing Rock seasonal residents, Karyn and Dieter Herterich, it is a wholly owned subsidiary of the MontSol Corporation.
The Herterichs wanted to accomplish several objectives in building SouthMarke:
- The architecture would embody the look and feel of why many people visit and live in Blowing Rock. Quaint charm amid a Victorian mountain setting reminiscent of the 100 year old resort’s early history. Its gardens and benches were also strategically placed to encourage the companions of shoppers to relax and not rush their spouses or friends out of our stores.
- A state of the art, facility of superior construction winterized with year round occupancy capability- something quite rare in downtown Blowing Rock in 1990. SouthMarke was the first center to require year round tenants rather than the May-October retailers prevalent at that time.
- SouthMarke was also the first downtown development to have standardized hours and an exclusivity clause for merchandise offerings.
- Blowing Rock is widely known for gift, clothing and antique stores, however SouthMarke’s early tenants offered fine stationary, ladies shoes & accessories, a kitchen, china and entertaining store and sports memorabilia. Many of those early tenants remain in SouthMarke today.
- The small 10’X10” seasonal Pavilions were a new concept for the area in 1992. Inspired by the kiosk concept which were becoming increasingly prevalent in some of the nation’s most successful malls, these small, permanent structures allowed for specialty merchandise with little long term risk. Open only May through October, it allowed seasonal tenants to capitalize on high traffic, with short term 6 month leases. They are turn-key in nature.