The next vacancy I want to look at is over at Mansfield Crossing. I don’t share the same level of enthusiasm some folks have about the Crossing. I personally find it misses the mark of its type by remaining far too car centric.
One thing on display at Mansfield Crossing is what I’ll call the Big Box Rule. You can build big box stores and dress ’em up and mix ’em up but ultimately any given big box is exactly that…a big box. The ironic thing about a big box is that they lack the flexibility to change into something other than what they were originally meant to be. Many will perhaps talk about the McAllen TX library that morphed out of an abandoned Wal-Mart and tell me I’m crazy. Truth is ,that is an exception to the rule and our own local proof is none other than the former Sports Authority site.
This location would seem to offer the space and location a number of entities would find appealing,yet there it sits. The options seem endless on paper. A chain fashion store,a pseudo outlet location or even a specialty food market. These have all been mentioned in a number of circles but they have not materialized in the real world. Why is that?
Well other than the rigid thinking that make some box types shun available boxes I think a reason is that it is now the era of the internet hitting the Big Boxes.
Think about a number of retail entities that you might want to have here in town,especially at the old Sports Authority site and give it the “Amazon Test”. We are over-retailed in the USA and the Big Box elements are definitely feeling the pinch of costs,online competition and consumer apathy.
It is not easy to fill an empty big box with anything that assures growth and longevity and that is unfortunate to say the least. The added punch to the gut with failures amongst the Big Box set is that due to modern zoning codes the boxes also have big parking lots. When a Big Box space goes empty it makes a Big Hole!
Our next look at commercial vacancies will be the multi-use model. Please check back soon.