October 25, 2011 Comments Closed

Big Lots to fill space left vacant by Circuit City

Posted by:Adam Voight onOctober 25, 2011

Original article by Mike Copeland of wacotrib.com

An investment group from Arizona has bought the vacant Circuit City building at 4905 W. Waco Drive and has signed a 10-year lease to place a Big Lots discount store there by March.

Chris Hinkson, a principal in the Hinkson Co., confirmed he completed the purchase of the 28,470-square-foot building Friday. The Waco store closed in 2009, when the troubled electronics giant liquidated its assets.

Hinkson said he and his group have developed 3.5 million square feet of commercial space in Arizona, mostly power centers, but expanded their search for potential sites with the economy’s downturn.

“We thought the Circuit City on Waco Drive was a nice piece of real estate, and we were able to make a deal with a national tenant,” said Hinkson, who has placed Big Lots stores in other centers.

Based in Columbus, Ohio, Big Lots has grown to more than 1,400 locations that sell closeout and overstock merchandise in a department store setting that includes toys, tools, apparel, seasonal items and housewares.

A Big Lots store already operates in the Parkdale shopping center at Bosque Boulevard and Valley Mills Drive. It covers 22,500 square feet, making it smaller than the store planned for the former Circuit City location, which will be closer in size to the 30,000-square-foot prototype Big Lots has adopted, Hinkson said.

“It is my understanding they will keep the existing store open, at least for now,” Hinkson said, adding the larger store on West Waco Drive will carry what the chain considers a full line of merchandise.

Calls to the corporate headquarters of Big Lots were not returned.

“Big Lots has been a long-term tenant, and we value their presence. We would absolutely hate to see them leave,” Parkdale property manager Ralph Norvell said.

He declined to say how much longer the store’s lease runs there.

Other discount shops in Parkdale include Frugal’s Grocery Outlet and The Liquidators.

Realtor Brad Davis, who helped broker the sale of the Circuit City building, said the asking price stood at $1.55 million. Hinkson said he paid closer to $1.2 million, “but we have improvements to make.”

“It will be totally gutted and rebuilt on the inside. We also will add windows and will address the heating and air-conditioning system and the roof,” said Hinkson, commenting on why the opening won’t come until March.

Hinkson said he looked at other properties in Waco, including the vacant Linens N Things building at 4809 W. Waco Drive, near Circuit City. The 33,520-square-foot building went vacant in 2009.

“There were some things there we couldn’t make work,” Hinkson said.

Elsewhere on West Waco Drive, a store called Light Your Fire Hearth & Patio is announcing its grand opening at 4824 W. Waco Drive, where a 16,000-square-foot Saturn dealership closed two years ago.

Brad Harrell said he has two “lukewarm” prospects for the vacant Talbots space at 4541 W. Waco Drive.

Talbots, which sells high-end women’s clothing, closed its 4,270-square-foot Waco store in July.

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