Belk Inc. will close its Roosevelt Square department store in January, affecting more than 50 jobs.
Charlotte, N.C.-based Belk confirmed the closing Thursday and filed a Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Notice with the state that 52 jobs would be cut Dec. 30 through Jan. 15. The company said it notified its 51 employees of the closing and was checking on the one-job discrepancy.
Spokeswoman Jessica Graham said Thursday the company decided to close the store after evaluating its business plans and competitive position in the area market. She said the lease was coming to an end.
“We believe closing the store is in the best long-term interests of Belk,” she said.
She said the closing was announced to the store associates and all of those in good standing were offered a transfer to another store. Any who do not choose to transfer will be offered a severance package, she said.
The Roosevelt Square store, at 4535 Roosevelt Blvd., is one of five area Belk stores. The others are in Atlantic North, The Avenues, Orange Park Mall and the Ponce de Leon Mall in St. Augustine.
Property records show the Belk store at Roosevelt Square store was built in 1970 and is about 63,000 square feet. Belk opened there in 1998 after other department stores occupied the space.
Roosevelt Square is owned by Atlanta-based Dewberry Capital Corp., which bought Roosevelt Mall in 1997 and redeveloped it. Dewberrycapital.com explains the 309,360-square-foot mall was under “highly distressed circumstances.”
Built in 1961 and later expanded, the property “suffered from a lack of maintenance and had fallen into a dilapidated and mismanaged state,” Dewberry said.
Dewberry Capital “de-malled” the property and converted it into an open-air lifestyle center, anchored by Publix Super Markets Inc. and Stein Mart, among many more tenants.
The first phase of redevelopment was completed in 1999, adding a new Publix and a 7,000-square-foot Belk Home Store. The former Publix was renovated for Stein Mart and the Belk Department Store also was remodeled.
The final phase of redevelopment was completed in 2003 with the addition of more tenant space.
Carrie Smith, regional managing partner of the Franklin Street real estate company, expects a lot of retail interest in the site. She said there is no available big-box retail space in that part of the Westside and that a number of retail stores make sense there.
“Sporting goods, home improvement, or even a theater would be great,” she said.
She said it also presents an opportunity for Dewberry.
“Belk’s exit opens the door for the owner to upgrade and redesign this portion of the shopping center,” she said.