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Gym? Sporting goods store? What will replace the Toys R Us in Atwater Village?

Toys R Us Atwater Village

BY BARRY LANK

ATWATER VILLAGE – With Toys R Us holding a liquidation sale as it prepares to close operations, what becomes of the chain’s store at the Franciscan Metro Center? One thing many brokers agree on: That building probably won’t stay empty for too long.

“‘Is it a landlord’s market?’ One hundred percent – one hundred fifty percent,” said Glenn Shelhamer, principal at the Shelhamer Group realty in Los Feliz. “For people wise enough to buy brick and mortar 30 or 15 years ago, it’s a seller’s market – a landlord’s market.”

Toys R Us filed court documents on March 15 to sell or close all its U.S. stores, including Babies R Us, and  liquidate the company, according to CNBC.  That means a pretty sizable commercial property could land on the Eastside market.  The size of the Atwater Village store is about 45,000 square-feet, according to PropertyShark.com.

Normally, a retail space this large might say vacant for awhile, said Mike Tolj of Tolj Commercial Real estate in Eagle Rock. But right now, demand for retail space is far outstripping supply – with the vacancy rate among retail spaces ending last year at a slim 4% for all of Los Angeles County, Colliers reported.

“In this market,” Tolj said, “they’re lining up.”

So what could fit in that space? More than one broker who spoke to The Eastsider suggested a gym.

“We’re really lacking in this area,” Shelhamer said.  There are “a  few random yoga studios, spin classes, some cross fit, but no community style gym/spa combo. Whoever figures that one out will make a mint.”

Tolj noted, however, that  space like a gym would need parking spaces reserved for itself – a number that would depend on city and neighborhood rules.

As an alternative, Tolj suggested the space might fit a Dick’s Sporting Goods, a Target, a furniture store or even just a 99-cent store. It could even be subdivided into smaller businesses. But that Tolj said, would be Plan B for selling or leasing.

“Plan A,” Tolj said, “is for someone to take the whole store.”

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7 comments

  1. NIMBYs in the area would NEVER allow it to be a 99 cent store, it’s ridiculous that it was even mentioned.

  2. this may sound obsurd, but i kind of want a walmart :/
    they should do a rei and a whole foods
    dicks would fit,
    but i bet you its gunna be a target.

  3. Christine lopez

    No gyms please!!! There’s enough in the surrounding neighborhoods.traffic sucks already as it is…and please please please no more good wills or home Depo/Lowes or home improvement warehouse there’s literally three within 10 miles.

  4. Christine lopez

    Also no targets we have 3 one in eagle rock glendale and now Glassell park all very very close. We also have a huge dicks sporting goods in glendale also not far.and whole foods is unecessary seeing how there a Costco next door! And there 365 market owned by whole foods in silverlake already. It’s time to put on our thinkingcaps people because if you look good enough we have alot near us that d oesnt need to be repeated.

  5. Christine lopez

    What would be nice is maybe a bath bath and beyond or an ULTA.stores like that would benefit wonderfully.

  6. Seems like we need housing a helluva lot more than we need big box stores right now… could probably fit a couple hundred apartments on that parking crater out front. Such a glut of pavement wasted on subsidizing car storage, while thousands sleep on the streets every night.

  7. Gym makes sense. I bet Equinox would have gone in if they didn’t recently open one in Glendale.

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