Commercial Real Estate, Capital, Insurance, Leasing & Management

In retail development-starved Tampa Bay, some empty Toys R Us stores are a good thing

Published By: 

Retail expert Brian Bern shares his insights on how Toys R Us closings impact Tampa.

Excerpted from Tampa Bay Business Journal story.

When Toys R Us opened in Tampa’s Citrus Park suburb in 2016, Brian Bern took his son to shop there — and found a glimmer of hope for the future of brick-and-mortar real estate.

The store frequently held events, ranging from toy demonstrations to holiday crafts to Pokemon card trades. It was also just a fun place to visit, with rows of colorful candy bins, Lego sculptures and a Magic Mirror, in which your reflection becomes a cartoon character that mimics your movements.

Bern knows better than anyone the importance of giving consumers a reason beyond shopping to visit stores: He’s a senior director with Franklin Street in Tampa, specializing in retail properties.

“It was very experiential,” Bern said. “I was so impressed, and I felt like there was a future for Toys R Us. But you read into it and see the debt they were in — ugh.”

For full story, visit

let's Connect

drop us a line