Grocery stores hungry for space in Oklahoma City

The absorption of three big boxes in the first half of 2012 left 24 vacant locations totaling 961,023 square feet of space in the metro area, a reduction of 7.3 percent from the 1,036,175 square feet available for lease at the first of the year, according to brokers at CB Richard Ellis-Oklahoma.
BY RICHARD MIZE richardmize@opubco.com Published: August 18, 2012
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Grocery stores' appetite for Oklahoma City keeps nibbling away retail space one big-box store at a time.

Three big spaces totaling 94,252 square feet came off the market the first half of the year, according to brokers Mark Inman and Stuart Graham of CB Richard Ellis-Oklahoma. Grocery-related users are committed to two of the spaces and being recruited for the other one.

Just one store went dark, a 10,000-square-foot Famous Footwear at French Market Mall, NW 63 and May Avenue.

Combined with 9,100 square feet vacant next door — a former Ooo La La store — it meant a reduction of 75,152 square feet in big-box retail space, as defined by Inman and Graham. They consider any retail space larger than 18,000 square feet to be a big box.

The changes left 24 vacant locations totaling 961,023 square feet of space in the metro area, a reduction of 7.3 percent from the 1,036,175 square feet available for lease at the first of the year, the brokers found.

The spaces that came off the market were:

•  The 37,252-square-foot former Ultimate Electronics store at 515 W Interstate 240 Service Road.

City records show that Rosemont, Ill.-based US Foods, which has a large, regional warehouse distribution center at 37 NW 122, plans an operation at the I-240 location.

Inman and Graham said the building was absorbed as a result of “brisk activity in ... the grocery sector,” but declined to elaborate, citing confidentiality agreements. US Foods had no comment.

•  The 30,000-square-foot former Hobby Lobby location at 555 W Main St. in Norman.

Sunflower Market, which recently was acquired by Sprouts, will open its third store in the metro area. The first was northeast of NW 63 and May, which was followed by a store at Second Street and Littler Avenue in Edmond.

Graham and Inman said the Sunflower/Sprouts deal “eliminates all vacant big-box space in the Moore/Norman submarket.”

•  The 27,000-square-foot former Draper's Market, part of 124,955-square-foot West Park Mall, northwest of NW 63 and MacArthur Boulevard in Warr Acres.

Developer Jim Tapp bought the dilapidated shopping center to redevelop it with retail anchored by a neighborhood grocery store.

More to come

Inman and Graham said they expect more big boxes filled with groceries.

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