'Junior box' retailers on the horizon for Sumter

Leading area broker weighs in on commercial development

BY BRUCE MILLS
bruce@theitem.com
Posted 1/10/19

One of the top area commercial real estate brokers says he foresees new, so-called "junior big box" retailers - or simply "junior boxes" - on the short-term horizon for Sumter, instead of a new big-box retailer, such as a Home Depot or …

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'Junior box' retailers on the horizon for Sumter

Leading area broker weighs in on commercial development

Posted

One of the top area commercial real estate brokers says he foresees new, so-called "junior big box" retailers - or simply "junior boxes" - on the short-term horizon for Sumter, instead of a new big-box retailer, such as a Home Depot or Target.

Jay Davis, president and broker-in-charge of Coldwell Banker Commercial Cornerstone, 2 N. Main St., spoke Wednesday on retail prospects for the new year for Sumter.

Two weeks ago, on Dec. 27, Sears Holding Corp. announced it was closing 80 more Sears and Kmart stores by the end of March, including Sumter's Kmart at 1143 Broad St. Sears also runs Kmart.

Davis said it's not possible right now to speculate on what may happen to the Kmart location until bankruptcy court proceedings for Sears are complete.

On Monday, Sears will hold a court-supervised bankruptcy auction that will determine whether remaining chain stores are liquidated or left under the control of former Chief Executive Officer Edward Lampert. The retailer's independent board members and creditors want to wind down the business, but Lampert wants to keep 425 stores open, according to The Associated Press.

Davis said he's not sure if Kmart stores would be included in that 425 total, or if it's only Sears.

Once there's a definite plan from Kmart and Sears, then the individual owners or partners of the Sumter Kmart will know more of what they can do, according to Davis.

He said he thinks the Broad Street property could be "a really good re-development opportunity," but anything could still happen until court proceedings are complete. Kmart could even stay open because it is still the current tenant.

As far as new commercial development in town, Davis said he definitely thinks Sumter is in line for some new "junior boxes."

"There is probably going to be a sporting goods store, there's probably going to be an electronics, and there's probably going to be a clothing," Davis said. "Those types of 'junior boxes' are probably what we are going to see going forward for Sumter for the short term anyway."

Davis said the intersection of Alice Drive and Broad Street is currently the center of Sumter for commercial development, and he foresees that continuing moving forward in the next few years.

As far as the next likely commercial development location in town, Davis said there are 47 acres behind Lowes facing Alice Drive that is prime real estate.

Gateway Plaza, which Davis manages and also has TJ Maxx as a major tenant, will also be redeveloped and expanded soon, he said.