Excerpted from Orlando Business Journal story.
The soon-to-be-closed Central Florida locations of Payless ShoeSource Inc. will present an opportunity for new retailers.
Roughly 28 of the company’s stores will close in the Orlando area along with 2,500 locations in the U.S. and Canada after the Topeka, Kansas-based company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Feb. 18. Melville, New York-based A&G Realty Partners plans to manage the sale of the leases of these shuttering locations.
There are roughly 170 Payless locations in Florida — the third most of any U.S. state behind California and Texas.
Payless locations outside of malls may prove attractive to new retailers as they’re often in desirable locations in Central Florida and can be redeveloped, said Jorge Rodriguez, executive managing director in Central Florida of Colliers International. New tenants in these Payless stores are great for landlords as well, since their lease deals often were done during the Recession and new tenants likely will pay higher rental rates. “I don’t think it’s a liability, it’s an opportunity,” Rodriguez said.
The stores in Central Florida range in size from 2,400 to 6,600 square feet, according to A&G Realty Partners data. That’s the size needed for users such as mattress and discount soft goods stores, said Terrence Hart, a senior director with Franklin Street.