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Case study: Incredible Universe

When Tandy Corp. closed its 11 Incredible Universe stores in December 1997, the company faced a major disposition problem, which has since moved through several phases.

In the first phase, Tandy marketed the real estate, which it owned. An investment group purchased several of the properties, one of which occupied a site in Atlanta. The owners asked Atlanta's Shopping Center Group to help develop a concept and find tenants for the 185,000 sq. ft. building.

Ruth Coan, a partner with the Shopping Center Group, says the site offers an ideal entertainment setting. "It has extraordinary visibility from I-85 near Gwinnett Place Mall and a larger-than-typical parking ratio for the amount of square footage in the building," she says.

Coan and her client divided the original 185,000 sq. ft. space and signed up a Dave & Buster's for a 55,000 sq. ft. position.

"We're looking at a variety of uses for the remaining 130,000 sq. ft.," Coan says. Among the uses under consideration are a family arcade, bowling, skating, go-carts, restaurants and live music entertainment.

Not all Incredible Universe sites will accommodate entertainment, however. One of the stores not handled by Coan has attracted a new Sears concept in the home furnishings category.

Other Incredible Universe sites will likely go in other directions as the long-term disposition proceeds.

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