• By Art Campbell, CAMPBELL Commercial Real Estate

Loss of a lease retailer provides opportunity


It seems every few months brings announcements of another large retailer closing their doors entirely or consolidating to fewer locations. When BonTon Stores declared bankruptcy, Lower Allen Township was rightly concerned with what would happen with the buildings that anchored the very visible retail center in the township. The last few years has seen many large vacant boxes converted to different uses. Fitness and medical centers, warehouse, and entertainment venues are just some of the alternative uses. Considering the functional obsolescence of the BonTon store with 140,000 s/f on two stories, renovations for alternative uses were cost-prohibitive. Adding to the property limitations for redevelopment where use restrictions that prohibited fitness and call centers as well as certain types of restaurants and retailers. Additionally, the adjoining 25,000 s/f building previously occupied by Borders, other than some seasonal retailers, had been vacant for several years.


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