What Are Alternative Tenant Options for Empty Retail Buildings?

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In these ever changing times, a retail landlord may find that they are stuck with an empty retail space. Recent retail trends, and the impact of closures due to Covid-19 have made it difficult for brick and mortar businesses to stay profitable.

However, there are many retailers who have found ways to adapt to this new environment. Although long-term creditworthy tenants are necessary– short-term tenants are also a good option, particularly in well-located areas.

Pop-Up Retailers

Stores that sell seasonal products, like Christmas decorations or Halloween costumes are a common sight in many cities. In fact, some business models make a good profit just by opening up a chain of pop-up stores in several states. Even large companies have embraced pop-up stores as a way of rewarding loyal buyers, launching new products, or trying out a new line.

But pop-up space has also spread beyond the retail industry. It’s easy to see that a wide variety of businesses can use short-term, flexible space. Training events, fundraisers, one-time exhibitions, or sporting events can all use your empty retail space or parking lots.

Obviously, your ultimate goal should be to find a long-term tenant. But using pop-up stores will help you offset any decline in income while your property is vacant, and it will make your property look more attractive to potential tenants.

Less Conventional Tenants

If you own a shopping mall or some other kind of retail center, you may want to think about making experience-oriented businesses your tenants.

Many investors are turning local malls into an experience or leisure-oriented destination. Escape rooms, indoor golf, aerial drone racing/flight areas and virtual reality rooms are some of the businesses showing up in malls around the country.

Parking Space

If your property has a large parking space near major office or retail properties, you can rent that vacant retail space for parking to businesses searching for extra parking space, or directly to car dealerships and owners.

And with the added bonus of steady income, almost no maintenance, and car owners may be happy to pay you a full year in advance to ensure their parking space, this might remain an excellent method of adding extra income, even when you rent your commercial space to your ideal tenant.

Co-Working Space — a Convenient Option for Large or Small Businesses

Co-working space is not only an option for the freelancer or solo entrepreneur, but also for the small businesses who want to keep down costs. Also, large companies tend to use co-working spaces too, rather than opening up another office in another city.

Turn Retail In to a Fitness Center

Gyms are still becoming even more popular, and vacant space from big retailers has a common element — large open spaces and high ceilings, which is ideal for a new workout area. Also, if you have high ceilings, you can target specialty gym classes and leagues, such as private volleyball or basketball leagues/classes.

You can reach us at joe@joekillinger.co

Written by

Entrepreneur-Investor-Founder. Posting tips and insights from my experiences in real estate, investing & entrepreneurship- https://www.joekillinger.co/

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