Jim Oswald and his daughter, Vienna, already have two cats and a chinchilla, but they came to the North Augusta PetSmart opening April 10 and couldn't resist checking out the animals up for adoption there.
They've shopped before at the PetSmart in Augusta, but the new location will be much more convenient, Jim Oswald said.
"It's just two minutes from my house," he said.
PetSmart is the first of three new businesses to open in North Augusta Plaza, in the space where Kmart was located before it closed.
Burkes, an outlet shop for women's clothes, shoes, handbags and more, is set to open this week. Other stores - Ross Dress for Less and Rack Room Shoes - are expected to open this summer. North Augusta Plaza, which is owned by Canadian firm Slate Asset Management LP, includes existing tenants Publix, Hamrick's and Hibbett Sports.
A stand-alone Chipotle restaurant also is being built in the plaza, where a Silverstein's dry cleaning store had been before.
Denver-based Chipotle already operates a restaurant in Aiken and has been identified as one of the tenants of a soon-to-be-built 4,500-square-foot building in front of the Target store in the Augusta Exchange shopping center on Robert C. Daniel Jr. Parkway, according to construction plans filed by the shopping center's owner, New York-based Kimco Realty Corp.
The Tex-Mex inspired chain specializes in burritos, burrito bowls, tacos and salads. A company spokesman said recently it is scheduled to open "late this year."
Meanwhile, opening of the eagerly anticipated Your Pie location in the former Ming Yat building in North Augusta has been pushed back to the first week of May because of construction delays, a spokeswoman said. The sign is up, though.