Race is on to fill empty real estate along U.S. 64/Stage Road corridor by Michael Waddell

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With a number of large commercial spaces sitting open along the busy U.S. 64/Stage Road corridor in Bartlett and the Wolfchase area, and new commercial development underway at the southwest corner of Stage and Germantown Road, the race is on as property representatives search for the right fit for those empty spaces.

Gill Properties is still looking for a tenant for its 57,000-square-foot space inside the Stage Centre at 6600 Stage Road. The space was formerly a Piggly Wiggly grocery store but has sat empty for more than a decade despite the fact that the rest of the center is occupied.

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“Unfortunately, anything that’s seemed to be viable goes to Wolfchase,” Gill Properties SVP Patty Bullock said. “That’s the main predicament that we have with that location as a big box.”

Over the years, Saint Francis Hospital and some retailers have shown interest in the space, but ultimately things did not work out. The space is not zoned to sell second-hand items, which eliminates the chance for an antique store or something similar to go there. Gill officials have hoped to land a family entertainment tenant like a trampoline facility.

“We will divide the space if needed,” Bullock said. “It doesn’t have to be a grocery store again.”

Just down the road, the standalone 8,150-square-foot building at 7007 Stage Road is awaiting a new user. Gill Properties VP’s Frank Dyer III and Barry Maynard are hoping to find a tenant or a buyer to replace the bicycle store that closed about a year ago.

“It’s a big open showroom basically with some offices, a pretty good-sized stockroom in the back and a roll-up delivery door,” Dyer said. “Any type of retail tenant would be good there. It’s a good building, it just needs the right user.”

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He has gotten interest over the past year from a fitness center and someone looking to open a Western store, but ultimately no deals were struck.

Asking price for the building is $850,000.

The Shopping Center Group (TSCG) represents the 20,000-square-foot vacancy at 9050 U.S. 64, east of Interstate 40 next to Sprouts. Years ago, the space was part of a Kroger before the grocery store decided to move across the street, taking the tax dollars from Lakeland to Memphis in the process.

A standalone 8,150-square-foot building at 7007 Stage Road is awaiting a new user where brokers are hoping to find a business to replace the bicycle store that closed about a year ago.

“Kroger wanted to stay there, but they wanted to expand, and Lakeland said no. It’s probably one of the big mistakes that Lakeland made because they lost a great tenant who moved across the street to Memphis,” TSCG partner Shawn Massey said.

TSCG is hoping to lease the space to a junior anchor like a gym or hardware store that would benefit from the neighborhood and the steady traffic on U.S. 64.

At Stage Road and Germantown Road, new construction is underway on what will be a Chick-fil-A restaurant on the southwest corner of the intersection. The previous free-standing building there, which had been a Walgreen’s for many years and then a Spirit Halloween pop-up store in recent years, was torn down early this year to make way for new development.

Chick-fil-A will move north from its current location just down the street within the The Commons at Wolf Creek, and then Brixmor will construct a new two-tenant building in its place. TSCG has already signed two tenants for that property, and they will be announced soon.

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Also on U.S. 64, TSCG is adding space to the Wolf Run shopping plaza to facilitate one tenant’s expansion.

The Shopping Center Group partner & Shawn Massey says TSCG hopes to lease the 20,000-square-foot vacancy at 9050 U.S. 64 to a junior anchor like a gym or hardware store; is adding space to the Wolf Run shopping plaza; and is also working a contract to sell a small strip center at 6165 Stage Road.

“We’re in the process of expanding Gould’s by 6,000 square feet for their barber college,” Massey said. “And we’re about to announce two tenants, one being a fitness user. That should be in next couple of weeks.”

TSCG is also working a contract right now to sell the small strip center at 6165 Stage Road. The center was previously a charter school and before that included a Kinko’s and other small retailers. It now sits empty.

“The tenant that we’re working with will probably tear it down and build a new building,” Massey said. “I hate to lose it. It’s a great building, but it would not work for this new tenant.”

NAI Saig Co. just signed a tenant for one of its 2,000-square-foot bays in the strip center at 7041 Stage Road. Upper Cuts, which has been in the Raleigh area for more than 20 years, will move there soon.

“We can do a 2,000-square-foot space or a 4,000-square-foot space if somebody took both,” NAI Saig Executive VP Brian Califf. “We’ve found it easier to lease smaller bays. “You can usually find a tenant quicker for a smaller space in Bartlett.”

Previously, a cosmetology school occupied the full 6,000 square feet before going out of business. Califf looks to attract a service-related tenant or a physical therapy/medical user.

“Any type of retail daily needs services would be a good fit,” he said. “I think Highway 64 is a good location for small retail, and as soon as we come out of the coronavirus funk everyone will be out getting their nails and hair done again.”

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