With the recent bankruptcy of Sports Authority and prior bankruptcies of Circuit City, CompUSA, Borders, and Linens and Things, all of which occupied stores generally 20,000-30,000 square feet, property owners are scrambling to re-lease these spaces to a smaller universe of prospects. Potential leasing candidates like Office Depot, Best Buy and Staples are downsizing, not expanding, worsening the situation.
Some owners are finding creative solutions. One example is Sprouts Center, located in Glendale, Arizona. The 61,250-square-foot shopping center was constructed in 1994 and renovated in 2005. At that time, the property was long-term leased to Sprouts Farmers Market (30,000 square feet) until 2023 and the balance of the space was leased to Office Depot (31,250 square feet) until December 2008. At the end of its lease, Office Depot vacated.
Timing could not have been worse, as 2008-2009 was a period of severe economic distress, tenant bankruptcies and little tenant expansion from nationwide retailers. So the owner of the property took another direction. Tim Crawford, the owner of a new company called Jumpstreet, contacted the owner of Sprouts Center. Crawford wanted to expand into Glendale, Arizona from Jumpstreet’s first location in Thornton, Colorado and he needed 30,000 square feet for his concept – wall-to-wall trampolines, trampoline dodge ball and other unique and fun activities. The Glendale location opened in 2009 and has been wildly successful, and now Crawford has 15 locations nationwide and is opening 2-3 new locations a year.
The owner of Sprouts Center took a chance on a non-traditional retailer and reaped the rewards. Perhaps other owners will follow. For more information on Jumpstreet, visit http://www.gotjump.com/.