Project Leasing • Development • Site Selection

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Case Studies - Sunset Point 19

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Sunset Point 19 is a 273,000 square foot community shopping center located at the intersection of US Highway 19 and Sunset Point Road in Clearwater, Florida.

Mark Sneed was employed by CNM Associates as Regional Director of Leasing when CNM was hired by Ronus Properties, the Atlanta Georgia based owner of Sunset Point 19 to renovate and re-merchandise the shopping center. Sunset Point 19 was a late 1960’s era shopping center that was originally developed and owned by Publix Supermarkets. Publix had been a Tenant in Sunset Point 19 since the shopping center’s inception, and had expanded their store to a 59,000 square foot prototype in the early 1990’s. The entire property was physically and architecturally very old and dated .

Sunset Point 19 is strategically located in the Clearwater market between Countryside Mall to the north and Clearwater Mall to the south. Countryside Mall is a 1,000,000 square foot + dominant enclosed mall that sets the mid market fashion standard for the trade area, while Clearwater Mall was formerly an enclosed mall that has since been redeveloped into a 1,000,000 sqaure foot “power center”. This area is the main regional shopping corridor for Northeast Pinellas County.

In addition to the physical renovation of the facades, landscaping and parking areas, Mark Sneed also implemented a comprehensive releasing and remerchandising program for five (5) key anchor spaces. At the time of the commencement of this strategy, the key end cap location (27,000 square feet) on US 19 was occupied by Joel & Jerry’s. Joel & Jerry’s was a locally owned deep discount drugstore chain similar in concept to Drug Emporium. This Tenant’s sales and physical store had deteriorated significantly over the years. Adjacent to Joel & Jerry’s, a Circuit City store of approximately 32,500 square feet had closed and relocated to a larger freestanding store a few blocks north of Sunset Point 19. While Circuit City was still paying rent on the building, the vacancy had left a huge hole in the middle of the property. Just west of the vacant Circuit City was a 26,600 square foot store occupied by Luria’s. Luria’s was a Florida based chain of catalog showrooms (similar to Service Merchandise) that was in Chapter 11. In the extreme corner of the property was a group of irregular shaped spaces occupied by Workplace, a local chain of office supply stores, a 9,000 square foot Petland franchisee who was in default of his lease, and a large and deep vacant space.

The first step in the remerchandising campaign was to create a dynamic draw for the Joel & Jerry’s space. Contact was made with many prospective merchants, including the three prevalent bookstore chains (Barnes & Noble, Border’s, Books-A-Million) that were a very sought after retail category at the time. This contact resulted in a new build-to-suit arrangement with Barnes & Noble that required a complete demolison of the Joel & Jerry’s space. The new Barnes & Noble created an exciting catalyst for the remerchandising of the shopping center.

During the period of the Barnes & Noble negotiations, Workplace was acquired by Staples. Staples is  an office supply store chain based in the Northeastern United States and was just beginning their expansion into Florida and the South. Staples made it clear that they were unhappy with the size and positioning of the old Workplace store, and would be relocating out of Sunset Point 19 if a suitable relocation opportunity wasn’t found.

The marketing of Sunset Point 19 was creating interest from numerous “large format” specialty retailers. Among those interested were such prominent chains as Bed, Bath & Beyond, Old Navy, & CompUSA. A plan began formulation that would relocate the Staples/Workplace store into the Luria’s box (26,600 square feet). This would free up the former Workplace store, and when combined with the Petland store and another vacancy produced approximately 50,000 square feet of contiguous space. A lease termination was negotiated with Petland and their space reacquired.

During this period, a complicated combination of a lease termination, a lease buyout, and a new lease was negotiated with Circuit City and CompUSA for the closed Circuit City store (32,500 square feet). New leases were then negotiated and finalized with Bed, Bath & Beyond for approximately 35,000 square feet and Old Navy for approximately 15,000 square feet to complete the remerchandising of the property.

When all was complete, the remerchandising of Sunset Point 19 took approximately 2 years. It involved approximately 138,000 square feet with five (5) new and exciting large format retailers. Sunset Point 19 marked Old Navy’s & CompUSA’s entrances into the Tampa Bay market. The addition of these five (5) new credit Tenants along with the existing Publix store made Sunset Point 19 an institutional quality shopping center. It is currently owned by one of the largest shopping center REIT’s in the United States, and all of the original five (5) stores included in the remerchandising are still in business and operating in the property.


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Project Leasing • Development • Site Selection

Sunset Point 19

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