As opportunities for former big box and department store anchor spaces become available, developers and retail landlords are getting creative on how to reutilize the real estate. Commonly retail landlords are splitting the former big box unit, where viable, demising the space to accommodate multiple retail uses with smaller floor plan layouts. One developer in Neptune Beach, FL is creating a mixed-use complex out of a former Kmart location which will include ground floor retail (30,000 sf) and a 44-room boutique hotel. Conversion of other uses of the real estate formerly occupied by big box and/or department stores include multifamily, assisted living, office, medical and self-storage.
In many cases, the underlying real estate occupied by these vacant boxes is traditionally in a quality location on a large useable land parcel. When determining what to do with the real estate, it becomes a question of supply and demand with the highest and best use driven by what is needed most in that market.