Friday, July 23, 2010

Empty Strip Malls...Space Available...A Sign of The Times

Photo above...Wally World parking lot, with green construction fence prominently in sight...sign of the times.

Wal-Mart, Wally World, what ever you wish to call it, is everywhere.  It's hard to drive very far in any direction down a busy avenue without passing one.  My own Wally World is now about 20 years old and was the first of it's kind in a good 20 mile radius.  Now we still have the old original Wally, plus 2 super-sized Wallies (called Super Wal-Mart stores) and plans for yet another, all within that same 20 mile circle...make that within a 10 mile circle! 
Photo above...Under construction. Behind the green construction fence used to be the corner and leg of the"L" in our first little strip mall.  Gone now are Radio Shack, Fashion Bug, and the Dollar Store.

The old shopping center, built in the very late 80's housed the area's first major supermarket called Publix.  The other 3 corners of the intersection were vacant, except for grazing cattle and an orange orchard.  Developers  quickly discovered the area and it became a mecca for housing developments.  In little time, perhaps 5 years or less, it was a common sight, during the holidays, to see a uniformed traffic cop directing a constant stream of vehicles into and out of the Publix parking lot.  Soon the 3 vacant corners had been cleared and new strip malls sprang up, the sweet smell of the orange orchard is now just a memory as it fell to bulldozers and made way for our gigantic class A, Publix supermarket...leaving a huge windowless, big box store sitting empty and forlorn in the old strip mall.  But the strip mall had Wally, and as long as Wally was there people came to shop and all the small shops and eateries in the center managed to survive.

Photos above and below...Store front of the old Publix supermarket, now sporting  signage that this property is available for lease.

Then Benderson Developers purchased land next to the freeway off/on ramps and began building.  That's when we got our first Home Depot, a Carrabba's, a Staples Office Supplies and our local Starbucks.
Of course the old Wally World wanted to move and get in on the action of a new and energetic shopping area that was scarcely 2 or 3 miles away.  Normally their request would have been a "done deal", however the homeowners living in the surrounding area complained and they went to great lengths to prevent Wally from abandoning the old store and building yet another, bigger better super store.  The fact that the old strip mall had one big box building setting empty was bad enough but to have 2 would have been true death for all of the small establishments that were trying to exist there.

Photo above...The old Walgreen's, now empty.  Space definitely available!

Photo below...The only thing at this end of the strip mall is a Tae Kwondo school.

Photo below...A lot of real estate sitting empty !

Amazingly Wal Mart's requests and plans were eventually denied.  Reluctantly the old store decided to expand instead.  This meant that a whole section of the "L" wing of shops would have to be vacated, the old Walgreen's Drug Store, vacated it's location and built a nice, new, stand alone building.  And now the wrecking crews have gone in and dismantled the corner of the  "L" that once housed a Radio Shack, a Veterinarian's office, Fashion Bug Clothing store, a Chinese restaurant and a Dollar Store.

Photo above...Just a small section of shops, hanging on by their fingernails and with a hope and a prayer.  There used to be a Chinese restaurant and a Dollar Store at the end of this section...then the leg of the "L" turned toward Wal-Mart .  This leg was home to a Radio Shack, a veterinarian's office, and Fashion Bug clothing shop.  All this space will become Wally's addition.  Only time will tell how this little strip mall is going to fare.


  1. Truly a sign of the times. Houses for sale everywhere, homes going into foreclosure. Europe, too. It's an interesting era we're stepping into, just wonder how long it's going to last. Seems to be all about change, such a flux, and whether toward deterioration and decline or rejuvenation and growth, it's nothing that hasn't been gone through before and a natural part of the ebb and flow. [I see you found the 'follow' button :)]

  2. Oh it is so depressing development in general but when it has to be bigger all the time and squeezing out smaller companies by the biggies I just freak.

    You know I have only been in a Walmart twice ever and the first time I didn't even buy anything, I just wanted to actually go to one.

    The second time was when we took our son to school in Ohio and Walmart was the only place around to buy the stuff to outfit his dorm room, that is sad too.

    I'm not a big shopper but I try to buy locally from small businesses, as I want the world not to be full of Walmarts and nothing else. Sorry I got carried away. :) T.

  3. It's always so sad when the old is abandoned for newer space, there are so many strip malls that are looking pretty forlorn. Shame the orange orchards had to go in the first place though.

  4. Sometimes change is not always a happy time - it is sad to see these shops get lost in the shuffle.

  5. We are in urgent need for leasing a minimum of four empty and vacant Publix or Winn Dixie stores ASAP!!! We will lease them for ten to fifteen years, We will make it worth your while to help us! Please locate as many of them as you can and send photos and info, We need empty but well located stores in empty, well appointed and well located Plazas, but not too old and it does NOT have to be a Publix Plaza. Any good Plaza with some stores satellite stores still leasing will suffice (if possible Publix or Winn Dixie, Please Help us! We need them in all areas of Central Florida, especially in the Ocala Areas, Leesburg, Belleview, Gainesville, Tampa, Orlando, Sanford, Daytona and Daytona Beach or St Augustine, Melbourne, Flagler, St Pete, and many others!!! We are ready to enter into immediate negotiations (brokers invited and owners reps are invited to call ASAP) we must acquire four ASAP, Please send name of plaza, shopping center, name of landlord/leasing agent, Developer, OWNER or bank/lender (if applicable) other company info and list of other tenants, etc.,etc (please estimate the store's sizes if known in Sq Ft and pictures) We are ready to move ASAP.. Please send your info to ASAP. (Register if needed, and ask for Jacques Sagastume, broker/salesmen protected.. We need to lease these urgently to open a new and awesome chain of stores that will be one of a kind and these old Publix/W Dixie stores are perfect, We also seek help in doing this so include your title and experience, The developers must be willing ... call ASAP at 877-817-7843 or write to ..And ask for Jacques (Jack) Sagastume ASAP... Thank you and please rush! We need good people to join us too if you have qualifications to help manage, or build out, or work at a Home Center! Thank you in advance, Jacques Sagastume - GreenStar and America Home Centers


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