Mathias Works to Fill Spots at Ozark Center Point Place

by Talk Business & Politics ( 58 views 

Three national retail chains that had stores in Springdale’s Ozark Center Point Place have recently filed for bankruptcy and closed those stores.

Mathias Properties of Springdale, owner of the 350,000-SF shopping center, has filled one of those spots but is still looking for tenants for the other two.

Curtis Wray, property manager for Sam Mathias, said Center Point is currently at 95 percent capacity in spite the bankruptcies that resulted in the closure of the shopping center’s Stage, Bugle Boy and Famous Brands Housewares stores.

“I think in the best of times, it’s hard for retailers,” Wray said.

Bart Plumlee, manager of the Big Lots store that opened at Center Point on June 17, said sales so far have been “a lot better than we expected.”

Based in Columbus, Ohio, Big Lots Inc. is the nation’s largest “broadline closeout retailer.” The company opened a 20,000-SF store in the Center Point building that previously housed Stage.

Big Lots operates 1,316 closeout stores under the names Big Lots, Big Lots Furniture, Odd Lots, Pic ‘N’ Save and MacFrugal’s. The company’s wholesale operations are conducted through Consolidated International and Wisconsin Toy.

Wray said he has a tenant scheduled to occupy an 8,000-SF space at the shopping center by August. He declined to disclose the tenant’s name.

That would leave three spots empty at Center Point: the Bugle Boy site (4,500-SF), Famous Brands Housewares’ location (3,500-SF) spaces and a 2,500-SF space.

Mathias renamed the shopping center in June 1999. It opened in 1995 as Ozark Factory Outlet Stores. The change was supposed to reflect a change in merchandising that had already been taking place at the shopping center.

Mathias is currently working on a 60-acre Ozark Business Park mixed-use development adjacent to Center Point. The development will have 46 lots available for office, retail or warehouse construction. The lots are expected to be ready for building by Nov. 1.

Mathias has 14 shopping centers and warehouses with a total of about 1 million SF of space.