In a major coup for the Pikes Peak region, USA Discounters, a Virginia-based company that “sells everything under the sun from furniture to jewelry to electronics” and caters to a military clientele with 14 markets throughout the country, has leased 50,000 square feet of retail space at the Mission Trace Shopping Center.
The Colorado Springs store, just north of Fort Carson at the corner of South Academy Boulevard and Hancock Expressway, will be one of only two stores the company expects to open this year.
Matt Craddock of The Craddock Cos. called the retailer’s decision to expand into the local market “a direct result of Fort Carson’s activity,” adding that the area might have seen an even bigger influx of similar retailers “if Pinon Canon had gone forward.”
The landlord won’t be the only beneficiary of the store’s opening. The City of Colorado Springs stands to receive between $500,000 and $1 million annually in sales tax revenue, with another $1 million in sales tax revenue generated for the state and other jurisdictions, said Candice Bridgers, manager of the city’s Revenue and Collections Division.
The teamwork of three Colorado Springs banks – Key Bank, Academy Bank and First State Bank – along with teamwork by multiple city departments helped get the lease signed.
“It was a Herculean project. They (USA Discounters) first contacted us back in December and then backed away because of the credit crunch,” Craddock said, adding that various traffic and parking issues had to be addressed. “Mike Schultz in planning, Bob Cope in economic development, Dave Lethbridge in city engineering review, and Connie Perry in planning – they all helped us get it done.”
Craddock also had to move several long-time tenants to create enough adjacent space for the two-building user.
The southeast Colorado Springs shopping destination is almost fully leased, with just 17,000 square feet vacant in the 180,000-square-foot center. A 54,000-square-foot King Soopers, owned by a Denver investor group and vacated several years ago, also remains available, Craddock said.
The Cornerstone Retail Group’s Scott Gray and John Simons are the center’s leasing brokers.
Craddock said that revitalizing the South Academy Boulevard corridor has required a collaborative effort – and that effort is now paying off.
“This is really a milestone to land this kind of tenant at Mission Trace – and this side of town making a big comeback thanks to the new Fort Hood soldiers,” he said. “I think the work we’ve done already – the improved landscaping and exterior will support a big up-tick in business in this area. They’re also building a new Taco Bell across the street.”
Craddock said it’s been fun bringing a derelict shopping center back to life.
“USA Discounters is the only big thing really happening in retail right now,” he said. “I hope the city understands how important it is to have the collaboration – along with good streets and roads – to support growing businesses like this.”
The Harbor Group International, a Norfolk, Va.-based brokerage company represented the tenant.
A grand opening is scheduled for July 19.
A private investor has purchased the 47,000-square-foot industrial building and 5 acres that formerly housed the Colorado Gold Chips operation at 4450 Foreign Trade Zone Blvd. for $700,000.
That’s a price per square foot which hasn’t been seen since the 1990s.
“That’s a low benchmark for industrial space,” said Grubb & Ellis Quantum Commercial Group broker Rich Kelly, adding that large floor plate deals are relatively rare in these tight credit times.
Kelly represented both the buyer, CCI, and the seller, Steve Eller Family LLC.
Becky Hurley covers real estate for the Colorado Springs Business Journal.