Gander Mountain officially closed

Gander Mountain’s Waco location has completed its liquidation sale and is now officially closed. Owners of the property have put it on the market to lease.

Staff photo — Jerry Larson

The Gander Mountain outdoors store that opened in 2014 to anchor a dining and shopping complex at South Valley Mills Drive and Bagby Avenue has completed its liquidation sale and shuttered its doors.

Both the Waco and Killeen locations of Gander Mountain were among 32 under-performing locations the Minnesota-based chain announced it would close following its bankruptcy filing. It later announced it would close all 126 stores and sell off its assets. MSNBC reality star Marcus Leonis announced he would acquire at least 70 of the better-performing locations and continue their operation under the name Gander Outdoors.

The Waco location never made his list of locations to save.

CBRE, a Los Angeles-based commercial real estate company with an international presence, is listing the 52,000-square-foot building for lease at $15.50 per square foot — $19.80 per square foot counting taxes, building maintenance and insurance, according to real estate sources.

“That’s $85,800 per month,” said Brad Davis, a local commercial real estate specialist. “Whoever goes in there better do a lot of what they do.”

Dan Shoevlin, a senior vice president of CBRE in the Dallas office, said in an email response to questions that he is optimistic about “finding a suitable replacement tenant in time,” but acknowledged the difficulty of the task.

“From an overall cost standpoint, our initial goal is to lease the property to one user, but ownership is not opposed to splitting the building for the right two tenants,” he said in an email. “Most retailers of this size typically want to be clustered with other retailers of similar size to create synergy. A good example of this is what has occurred over the last 10 to 15 years down by Central Texas Marketplace. However, anchor space down there has all but dried up. There just are not any opportunities down there for a tenant of this size who is trying to penetrate the market.”

Shoevlin was referring to the sprawling collection of stores and dining establishments at West Loop 340, Bagby Avenue and Interstate 35, home to big-box retailers such as Best Buy, Cabela’s, Office Depot and Kohl’s.

“Our site puts an anchor tenant closer to the densest population in Waco and offers excellent freeway exposure on a heavily traveled intersection in the heart of Waco as opposed to being situated on the edge of town,” he added in an email. “We are getting creative with the types of uses we are targeting for the building. There’s a good chance the replacement tenant might end up not being your traditional retailer.”

Shoevlin said he also is listing a Gander Mountain property in Arlington that is scheduled to close in September. He said different investment groups, not Gander Mountain, own the buildings in Waco and Arlington.

“There is a user out there for that building, though it may have to be divided,” said Davis, who is not the listing agent but said he would be agreeable to showing it to a prospect. He said he has been contacted by an investor interested in buying the building, but not leasing it.

“It has great visibility, great access. There are no problems from that perspective. But I wonder about the lease rate and whether that will prove to be too high,” Davis added. “I would say its value is less than $10 a square foot. I am told Gander Mountain was paying in the mid-teens, but I’m not sure that number is going to work for the next guy.”

CBRE is marketing the Waco store on its website and in brochures, both of which tout its proximity to Baylor University and the H-E-B Plus grocery store on South Valley Mills Drive. It calls I-35 the region’s primary north-south thoroughfare “with daily traffic counts in excess of 105,000 cars.”

Meanwhile, Leon Capital Group continues to market the last parcel available in the Gander Mountain-anchored development. It would front the I-35 frontage road near South Valley Mills Drive, where LCG hopes to place a 10,000-square-foot strip for use by retailers and restaurants.

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