They point to a decline in the number of vacancies and a rise in new tenants in the commercial side of the community on Atlanta Road. In October, 40 percent of the market village’s retail space was vacant compared with the city’s then overall retail vacancy rate of 20 percent.
Now, all of the market village’s retail vacancies are located in the two foreclosed properties that are now banked-owned, said Andrea Hall, Smyrna’s redevelopment coordinator, bringing the total retail vacancy rate to 23 percent.
One of the properties is a two-story, brick building section located at 1290 West Spring St. diagonally across from Smyrna City Hall. It is owned by Bank of the West.
Steven Bush of Bank of the West said his company is interested in selling the entire 14,000-square-foot property — which formerly housed a yoga studio and several other tenants – as opposed to just leasing parts of it. The asking price is $1.4 million.
“As with many foreclosures the leasing process is long, foreclosures have a lot of attorneys and there’s a lot of paperwork involved in it,” Bush said. “Sometimes it’s not worth it for the banks to have to go through the leasing process.”
Had the bank gone the leasing route, the building would have been half filled with tenants by now, said Bush. However, he said present negotiations with a potential buyer are looking very promising.
“It’s just a matter of working out the details,” he said.
The other property, located at 300 Village Green Circle, is owned by CWCapital. Two separate buildings are located on the property. One building houses Shane’s Rib Shack and the other two-story building across the parking lot is where Quiznos and Ozone Fitness are located.
Hall said the property owner is attempting to lease the vacant spaces.
Hall has taken a glass half full view of the present condition of market village, preferring to look at a positive trend of new businesses in the mixed-used development that first opened in 2002.
New businesses that have recently opened or are soon to open are: Ozone Fitness, Buckhead Academy and The Corner Taqueria. Also, a growler store is scheduled to open this fall.
“If you include all of the buildings that are in foreclosure, the retail vacancy rate is about 23 percent for market village,” Hall said. “But if you take out that building that they’re not leasing at all it’s 8 percent. With an 8 percent number that is actually lower than the vacancy rate for Smyrna as a whole.”