REAL ESTATE

GBT expands project on Florida’s West Coast

BY Al Urbanski

GBT Realty Corp. announced a further 58,000-sq.-ft. addition to the center it has under redevelopment in Port Charlotte, Fla.

About half of that space will accommodate a Lucky’s Market at Port Charlotte Marketplace, situated on the West Coast between Naples and Sarasota, an area prime for expansion of national retail brands, according to GBT.

“The demand for premium space along Tamiami Trail is insatiable,” said GBT director of leasing Fraser Schaufele, who called the Port Charlotte Marketplace site “some of the most sought-after dirt in Charlotte County.”

Currently exceeding 166,000 sq. ft., the center incorporates a Burlington (40,000 sq. ft.), a HomeGoods (20,000 sq. ft.), and a 7,500-sq.-ft. national shoe store inside a former Kmart building.

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REAL ESTATE

More than 230 Bon-Ton properties up for sale

BY Marianne Wilson

The Bon-Ton Stores is in the final stage of winding down operations.

A&G Realty Partners has been retained to dispose all of the real estate assets of The Bon-Ton Stores on behalf of a joint venture between Great American Group (a subsidiary of B. Riley Financial), Tiger Capital Group, LLC and Bon-Ton’s Second Lien Noteholders. The group acquired the bankrupt retailer’s assets on April 18 after submitting the winning bid to a U.S. bankruptcy court. (The joint venture between Great American and Tiger Group is currently liquidating all Bon-Ton inventory as well as most other assets, including furniture, fixtures and equipment, with the process expected to wind down at the end of June.)

Bon-Ton’s retail real estate assets include stores and leases in 23 states stretching across the Northeast, Midwest and upper Great Plains, from Idaho to New Hampshire. They include 22 fee-owned properties, seven ground leases and 194 leased locations with a significant amount of remaining term.

All told, the retail real estate assets include 157 department stores at regional malls, 39 locations in open-air shopping centers, 16 freestanding stores, as well as nine furniture galleries and two clearance stores. Most of the company’s department stores range from 80,000 sq. ft. to 125,000 sq. ft., with some as large as 200,000 sq. ft.

“These stores are located in well-performing regional markets,” said Andy Graiser, co-president, A&G. “The availability of these locations creates a wide range of possibilities for expanding retail chains, as well as developers across the entire real estate spectrum. Opportunities range from traffic-driving stores, food halls and entertainment venues, to healthcare, residential, education and other non-retail uses.”

In addition to the stores, A&G is marketing five office facilities and four distribution centers, including a state-of-the-art e-commerce fulfillment center in West Jefferson, Ohio.

Located in metro Columbus, the 1.1 million-sq.-ft. West Jefferson e-commerce fulfillment center is comprised of a 750,000-sq.-ft. footprint, as well as two 195,000-sq.-ft. picking mezzanines. It processes inbound carton freight either manually or through Glaplat Adjustoveyor units. At its peak in December 2017, the facility processed 43,000 packages and 91,000 units per day.

“Given the robust national demand for best-in-class e-commerce fulfillment centers, this facility has already generated tremendous interest from several national brands and retailers,” said Michael Jerbich, a principal in A&G’s Chicago office.

Bon-Ton Stores filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Feb. 4. In addition to its eponymous nameplate, Bon-Ton operated a variety of other banners, including Boston Store, Bergner’s, Carson’s, Elder-Beerman, Herberger’s, and Younkers.

For a listing of all available properties, visit agrealtypartners.com/bon-ton.

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A walking tour of Broward County retail

BY Al Urbanski

To really know what’s going on in the world, there’s nothing like lacing up your sneakers and taking to the streets to find out first-hand.

Avison Young researchers did just that recently in Broward County, Florida, home to Fort Lauderdale. They visited 590 centers sized 20,000 sq. ft. and larger, counting vacated boxes, “coming soon” signs, and construction crews to gather some quality insights.

• Publix rules in Broward. The legendary Florida-based supermarket chain fields 82 stores, laying claim to half he grocery anchored centers in the county. The banners of 22 different grocers top the remaining 91 supermarkets, but that doesn’t mean business is spotty for them. “Specialty grocers do well here. Sprouts and Lucky’s are both looking to expand their presence,” said Avison Young senior associate Joshua Ladle.

• Forty-seven big boxes and 34 junior boxes are vacant, but many are quickly being turned to other uses. “Coming Soon” signs were observed in windows of stores adding up to 280,000-sq.-ft. of retail space that, when open for business, will lift Broward County’s occupancy rate back to the 90.9% it posted a year ago. “Many are being transitioned to new uses like town homes and charter schools,” Ladle said.

• Twenty-six centers are in various stages of redevelopment and nine new centers are being built, ranging in size from 30,000 sq. ft. to 320,000 sq. ft. This plus the new tenants coming online presents a positive outlook for retail in Broward, according to Avison Young.

“A 90% vacancy rate is pretty average, and new construction numbers are in line with local standards. We don’t envision an over-building situation,” Ladle said.

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