Adventure park plans to quadruple its shopping center footprint
The key to success in the amusement business, according to Michael Stern, is to find ways to keep people coming back — specifically people aged 0 to 14.
The master broker for Urban Air Adventure Parks told a convention of retail real estate executives on Monday that the Dallas-based chain was poised to deliver on that promise and would be doubling its shopping center presence to 100 locations this year before doubling them again to 200 by the end of 2019.
“Trampoline parks were the Nineties; people want more,” said Stern, a principal of Edge Realty Partners at the International Council of Shopping Centers show in Orlando. “So we’re giving them indoor skydiving, obstacle courses, zip-lines, and Euro-style go-carts.”
UrbanAir, owned by the Perot Companies, is bringing an A-game with its management team, as well. It recently hired CEO Ken May away from TopGolf to serve in the same capacity at the adventure park chain.
Stern claimed that the “indoor parks” attract 10,000 to 15,000 visitors a month and that “landlords and retailers are both welcoming us with open arms.”
UrbanAir looks for mall and shopping center spaces ranging from 30,000 sq. ft. to 60,000 sq. ft., plus parking sufficient for 70 cars.
Eighty-two Toys ‘R’ Us properties going on auction block
The sell-off of Toys “R” Us real estate assets continues.
A total of 82 former Toys “R” Us and Babies “R” Us stores and other real estate assets will be auctioned on Sept. 27 in Manhattan by advisory and real estate brokerage firm A&G Realty Partners, and Raider Hill Advisors, a private real estate investment and advisory firm. The auction will take place beginning at 10 a.m. EDT on Sept. 27 at the offices of Kirkland & Ellis LLP, 601 Lexington Avenue, New York.
The auction will include 52 ground-leased properties, 29 building leases and one parking lot lease. Ranging in size from 22,000 sq. ft. to 63,000 sq. ft., the sites include Toys “R” Us and Babies “R” Us locations, as well as side-by-side or combined stores with both nameplates. The properties are located across a total of 32 states, with heavy concentrations in New York, Michigan, California, Illinois, and Texas.
The event is contingent upon receipt of a sufficient number of qualified bids by the Sept. 20 bid deadline.
“The opportunities here are diverse and include both freestanding and shopping center locations,” noted Todd Eyler, a managing director at A&G. “These are well-located, high-visibility big-box sites that can work for single-users or be subdivided, which is precisely the type of flexibility required for the kinds of adaptive strategies that are pulling ahead in today’s real estate marketplace.”
For a full store list, as well as information on tours of specific properties, visit AGRealtyPartners.com.
Sears announces another round of store closings
Sears Holdings Corp. has lowered the boom — again.
The embattled retailer announced it is shuttering 46 more stores, with the locations scattered around the country. The stores — 33 Sears and 13 Kmarts — will close this November, and liquidation sales will begin as early as Aug. 30. (For a list of the affected stores, click here.)
“We continue to evaluate our network of stores, which is a critical component to our integrated retail transformation, and will make further adjustments as needed,” Sears said in a statement. “Eligible associates will receive severance and will have the opportunity to apply for open positions at area Kmart or Sears stores.”
The latest round of closures comes on the heels of an offer from ESL Investments, the hedge fund run by Sears CEO Eddie Lampert, to acquire the chain’s signature Kenmore appliance brand.
Sears has announced several rounds of closings so far this year, starting in January when it said it planned to close some 103 stores. Most recently, in May, it posted a list of 15 Kmart stores and 48 Sears stores that it said would close in early September. With the latest announcement, Sears’ total announced store closures this year are at nearly 300.
As of May 2018, Sears was operating 894 stores, although it is believed some are now in the midst of closing.