This week in Building Up Jax, we have several low-key retail/restaurant updates to note.
Bad News for Kmart/Sears Fans
Sears Holdings, the parent company of once-prominent retailers Kmart and Sears, announced this week that it would shut down 78 of its stores nationwide.
As part of the closures, Jacksonville will lose two Kmart locations (San Jose and Neptune Beach) as well as the Sears location at Regency Square Mall.
The Kmart closures follow many other Jacksonville locations permanently closed (and now largely lying vacant) within the past few years. It will leave the city with just one remaining Kmart location, in Normandy Village. It remains to be seen what will become of the locations once Kmart closes; as mentioned, several of the stores shuttered in previous years continue to lie vacant.
The Sears closure is a tough blow dealt to Regency Square Mall, who had recently started moving in the right direction as far as gaining tenants and repopulating the long-suffering property. They’ll now have to worry about filling yet another vacant anchor space — Belk departed for a new store at Atlantic and Kernan Blvd last year, and Sears’ departure will leave only Dillard’s Clearance Center and JCPenney as major national tenants.
Sears’ location at The Avenues will remain open.
Leggett Partners with Sorensens
According to Jax Daily Record, Jacksonville real estate developer Steve Leggett will continue his rapid-fire revitalization of the Northside area, partnering with the Sorensen brothers to purchase 15 acres of land at the corner of Max Leggett Pkwy and North Main St. The land is expected to be used to build a shopping center, with up to 75,000 square feet of retail envisioned. It’s one of several land parcels owned by Leggett in the area.
The Sorensen brothers are best known locally as the founders of Firehouse Subs, the massively successful local chain that has now expanded across the country. Their father served with Leggett’s father, Max, in Jacksonville’s fire department.
Development is expected to begin later in the year.
La Nop on the Move
Popular local eatery La Nopalera will move from their current Hendricks Ave location to the newly-renovated San Marco Train Station, according to jacksonville.com. An upscale eatery called “Puerta Vallarta” had previously been announced as the Train Station’s future tenant, but La Nop has now been confirmed for the spot.
It will join the neighboring Panera Bread, and according to Jacksonville Business Journal there will be at least one additional tenant added to the Train Station in the future. An outdoor kiosk is also being developed.
While the project is certainly coming together nicely, one issue remains. The Panera Bread location next door to the Train Station already suffers from parking space shortages during their peak morning and lunch hours. With up to three additional tenants in the area, it remains to be seen how the parking situation will work out, or if developers have accounted for the additional traffic demands.
Lots of notes!
- Jersey Mike’s will open at the Point Meadows shopping center anchored by the new flagship Winn-Dixie, according to Jax Daily Record.
- Also via JDR, Buffalo Wild Wings is expected to open in Jacksonville Beach in the shopping center located at 4180 S. 3rd St.
- Multiple sources confirmed that Gateway Shopping Center has been placed on the market at a $12 million price tag. The dilapidated center was one of Jacksonville’s most popular malls decades ago; it’s now almost entirely open-air, with the small portion of remaining mall interior having been closed off last year.
- Pei Wei Fresh Kitchen will be one of the new tenants at a shopping center planned for the site of a former Pinch-a-Penny location at 11200 San Jose Blvd, via jacksonville.com.
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