LRretail

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About LRretail

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  1. Not sure where ArDemGaz is getting their information from but I have first hand knowledge that the current owner of the closed Applebee's location is under contract with someone to sell the property and it's not Red Robin or anyone else associated with the brand. So that story is a bust. In speaking with the development team at Red Robin, the location in Benton was placed there because of the Dallas based property developers' close relationship with the brand. The property was also leased/sold to Red Robin under a hybrid deal that made it very cost effective for them to show up. The presence of the Red Robin in Benton also made sense to them because of the relative lack of competing restaurants. They've stated that the Little Rock market is in their opinion oversaturated with local and chain concepts that compete with Red Robin. The development team also cites the lack of good real estate in the City and they are unsure that opening a location in Little Rock would be a "home run".
  2. LRretail

    West Little Rock

    The thing to realize about the seafood restaurants is the cost of doing business. Food cost alone is about 40% of revenue generally. Unless you're in a really dense area you're generally not going to see something like Pappadeaux or Kona Grill. In order to combat the higher food cost, a bigger restaurant is necessary to do a larger volume. This is one of the reasons why Cajun's is as big as it is. Unless it's fried fish or that kind of food, it's generally harder to make money doing by your definition a true seafood restaurant. Restaurant scene in Little Rock leans heavily towards independent groups. The customer in Central Arkansas really supports locals so chains or out of town concepts don't generally do as well. That's being in the restaurant industry in the city for 35 years talking. I strongly agree with you that we don't need any more burger, Mexican, pizza, asian restaurants. I'm pretty sure we got all that covered. But the simple fact of the matter is that the customer supports these types of concepts, especially if they are local. Tacos4Life, David's Burgers, Big Orange, US Pizza, Señor Tequila, on and on. Having diversity in restaurant selection is great but if the customers don't support them then they close down. I also agree that we need more family friendly options. Main Event would be fun. Playtime Pizza did not make money for most of its existence. So again, you and some other consumers may really want something specific. But if the rest of the general population in the area don't support things that do come through, other things that provide diversity aren't going to show face. Zaxby's is also a really good example. Yet another Slim Chickens, ChickFilA competitor. They opened the Little Rock store on Kanis LAST out of the 4-5 in the MSA. #1 - Because they couldn't find good real estate and #2 - Because they were fearful that they wouldn't be successful if Little Rock was the first or second location. I know it's another QSR brand but it's a successful one as another example - Panda Express. They have five locations or more in NWA. One in Hot Springs, Conway, etc but not Little Rock. It's not for lack of trying but they can't find the real estate and the competition comp set from the independents is too strong. Not saying that I'm right but it's just my observation over quite a long period of time in the restaurant industry. I very much wish it were different.
  3. LRretail

    West Little Rock

    Looks like you were right. Was driving to Colonel Glenn area on some business today and saw what looked to be a large amount of new Mini vehicles parked towards the rear of McLarty Honda. I suppose they came from Parker Mini being redistributed for sale at BMW of Little Rock owned by Mark McLarty.
  4. LRretail

    The Promenade At Chenal

    Went to the Apple Store yesterday to get some work done on my Mac. Driving into the main entrance of Promenade I felt this overwhelming sense of sadness by seeing former sites of Pei Wei, Del Frisco's, Tavern, and then Kenneth Edwards all dark storefronts with significant window space. Nothing new to talk about. It's just sort of depressing. Of all the things that bums me out the most is the closing of Portrait Innovations. I took my family here to get photos done from time to time. Best part was they would print your photos out for you right after the session so you didn't have to get stuff ordered or wait forever for them to come back. Odd thing to miss but we thought it was a great product. I am HOWEVER very grateful for the AMC Chenal 9 movie theater being open so we could go see Aquaman on the IMAX as a family.
  5. LRretail

    West Little Rock

    I agree that the size of the dealership was because it was pre-existing. From my recollection though I think the Parkers paid a hefty sum for the property and then spent another hefty sum renovating a bigger space than necessary for a relatively niche brand. It's been a few years but I remember there was a struggle between the Parkers, Landers, and Crains trying to get Porsche to split space at the current Mini dealership with all three groups vying for the property. Mini asked what was then the Asbury Group to open a Mini operation on Breckenridge but they were rebuffed since Asbury had no space with Volvo next to BMW. Then Mini sought out someone new and the Parkers competed against Landers (who later teamed up with Crain) for the Mini franchise. Landers brought in Porsche to sweeten the deal which angered that Parkers who saw themselves as the luxury brand purveyors of the area. The Parkers tried to compete for the same Porsche rights with Landers thwarting that effort. Porsche later called it a "business decision" not to enter the market. So Parkers ended up with the Mini franchise solo with nothing else to complement the space. Here's to hoping you're right. And to hoping that something else productive moves into the space. You're right. There are quite a few Mini owners in the market.
  6. LRretail

    West Little Rock

    Perhaps the reliability problems of the brand coupled with a rather overzealous investment in relation to the market had a lot to do with it. For example, the Nashville MSA encompasses a population of almost 2 million people. The Mini dealership in Franklin, TN near Nissan North American HQ is roughly half the size of ours in Little Rock. Little Rock MSA including Pulaski, Faulkner, Grant, Perry, Lonoke, and Saline counties has just under 750,000 people. The Mini dealership in Franklin is also surrounded by dedicated dealerships for Porsche, Audi, Mercedes, and a joint Bentley / Aston Martin / Rolls Royce store as well as a large Volkswagen dealer. I very much hope that Mark McLarty picked up Mini but the closure / move is certainly a loss for WLR.
  7. LRretail

    West Little Rock

    Reported in the Arkansas Democrat Gazette this afternoon that the Mini dealership at Chenal and Markham is closing. The Parker Group has decided to terminate their Mini franchise as of today. I would suspect they're going to fire sale the Mini inventory remaining and move the used cars to another dealership. This leaves a rather big hole at this intersection. My hope is that a luxury car brand populates this location or that the Parkers repurpose the site instead of walking away from it.
  8. LRretail

    The Promenade At Chenal

    Wasn't close enough to Mr. Gleason's home. That is the entire reason why Bank of the Ozarks current HQ is where it is and their home base will be out west close to Chenal as long as he lives in the area.
  9. LRretail

    The Promenade At Chenal

    I'm not sure there would be enough space for Gleason Land at the current Bank of Ozarks HQ. I know they are planning for a hotel and other amenities at the site they are building on. But I agree I wish they would have just expanded at their current site. It would keep a lot of interest closer to the Promenade. I feel like it's to the Aloft's detriment that Bank of Ozarks is going a bit further away. Although I could never see Bank of Ozarks selling that property or doing away with it. Much like their first building at Chenal & Markham.
  10. LRretail

    The Promenade At Chenal

    I very much hope that restaurant, if one matriculates through to this property, ends up doing well. Historically hotel restaurants haven't done so well except perhaps in the Capital Hotel's case. However, the Capital Hotel is sort of Warren Stephens' play thing. It typically doesn't make money on an annual basis. I live in the Chenal area so for the sake of my neck of the woods, I'm very much hoping that the Aloft does well having to pay the hefty mortgage and hoping there's enough demand in the scattered office users and wider spread rooftops to support this $16M venture. To give some comparison to how much of an investment that is, the Embassy Suites built on Chenal Parkway back in the day came at a cost of $17M. It took seven different mortgages to accomplish that, with the smallest of those mortgages being a $300k loan to collateralize the small wares (plates, cups, silverware, etc.) needed to open the food and beverage operation in the hotel. The Embassy Suites was built in a much denser trade area with tons of offices and residents surrounding it with large amounts of convention space. Let's all hope the new Aloft can gather as much success.
  11. LRretail

    The Promenade At Chenal

    I agree with you that there aren't any hotels in about a 3 mile radius. There's sort of a reason for that. There's not a ton of demand as there are limited office users. The office users that are present are somewhat scattered. The Aloft also isn't the Capital Hotel. It doesn't have a high end restaurant on property and it's just hotel brand. This is going to be a suburban Aloft location which historically haven't done as well as their urban city center counterparts. The Aloft in Rogers is a good example. There's not going to be a convention style aspect to the property. It's not going to be a resort. What are you left with then? It's just another hotel. Hotel guests are usually loyal to their system. Alot of the folks that were loyal to Starwood are now lumped into the Marriott system. That's not a bad thing. I'm a Marriott guy myself. But the Aloft location is so far removed from many of the main traffic drivers in the city. If I'm a Marriott guy there are alot of other options for me to get points and I may or may not want to drive all the way out just to stay at Aloft. Nike is leaving Promenade at the end of it's current lease option. They've stated that it's not feasible to have two outlet stores which they have better efficiency of the store at the Outlet Mall near Bass Pro. I believe they have 1.5 or 2 years left on their current lease term and will opt out at the end of the current one. I also asked some sources close to the deal with Ruth Chris taking over Del Frisco's and they're telling me the deal has stalled. They can't agree on how much of the current rent Del Frisco's is willing to subsidize for Ruth Chris. I'm hoping that they get something done here and Ruth Chris finally lands somewhere.
  12. LRretail

    The Promenade At Chenal

    The Aloft has already started construction on the southern end of Bank OZK. It may be a traffic driver for people wanting to stay in an Aloft but the project is $15M with over 120 rooms. That translates to about a $90k/month mortgage. That is HUGE. You have to selling a ton of rooms every night to make any profits. It makes me a little worried because there's not alot of folks outside of the Downtown LR area that will spend $140/night to stay at a hotel no matter where in the city it is. It used to be that part of the allure of staying at Aloft was that there are not many Starwood Hotel properties in Little Rock besides the Four Points Sheraton in Midtown. But since Marriott bought Starwood, the Aloft brand has suddenly found itself amongst a bunch of sister Marriott properties. So it's not as significant to stay at an Aloft as it once was to get SPG points instead of Marriott points. The Aloft will also have to fend off the Tru by Hilton property that is going to be built in 2019 behind the Walgreens on Chenal/Wellington. Not many people know that the main cause of unsuccessful businesses in the Promenade (the list is long and distinguished at this point) is the highest rent factor in Little Rock in a shopping venue that has the least amount of traffic during certain seasons. It's not centralized in location and so it has to be a destination for some. I'll drive to Chenal if I'm elsewhere in the city to go to the Apple Store or the Nike outlet. But not Urban Outfitters or VS or any of the other stores that already have stores in Park Plaza, etc. Since the Nike outlet is going to the outlet mall by Bass Pro, there might be little reason to go to Promenade besides Apple.
  13. LRretail

    The Promenade At Chenal

    Some spaces I don't believe will ever be occupied on the side where Homegoods is located unless something else besides the Homegoods is placed there. The theater is obviously a big driver but has changed hands twice since it's been opened. I'm thankful AMC bought it but it's never seemed like it's full of customers. I frequent the theater several times a month and there's never very many people there when I take my kids to watch a movie. Location perhaps might get better with time. I'm encouraged by the activity in Chenal. More rooftops being built no doubt helps.
  14. LRretail

    West Little Rock

    That's probably the reason why it's closing. Not because you haven't gone there but that's most likely a trend that started when stuff got a bit more saturated in the market. Isn't either one of those. Although I can see Zoe's going away soon being so close to Taziki's. Although Taziki's may be looking elsewhere too since sales have been reduced so much from Zoe's being so close. Either way both of those are suffering from market saturation. Starbucks is supposed to be going into the old Dunkin location as they've bought the property from the old Dunkin franchisee. Also Panera Bread's lease in Pleasant Ridge has come up for renewal and the franchisee has chosen not to renew it since the property owner won't help Panera pursue a drive-thru in their current location. Panera will end up closing that location I assume within a year perhaps a little longer.
  15. LRretail

    West Little Rock

    The owner of David’s has been in a lengthy court battle with the bank that owns the building. He has a history of getting into cheaper leases. If any of you will recall the space was occupied by a failed cafe before David’s located there. The bank doesn’t have a very profitable lease with David’s so they’ve been trying to kick them out for years so they could sell the property to CVS. Pretty greedy. But no doubt a business decision in the banks part. They won’t be renewing David’s lease so it’s forcing them to relocate. My bet is it’s moving to the old Mexico Chiquito on Cantrell which the owner of David’s bought a few months ago. As another sign that the restaurant scene in Little Rock is contracting, the Krispy Kreme on Shackleford near Kanis will be closing as soon as the property owner finds a new tenant or can sell the property. There’s also another restaurant near Chenal and Markham that will be closing in the next six months though I cannot disclose who that is right now. There has also been some talk about the Juicy Seafood in Pleasant Ridge closing in the near future with sales being less than expected and a high rent factor.