Wednesday, September 28, 2011
If I were a betting man, I’d put money on this trio.
|Look for more changes to Grand Marche, home to a successful Gatti Town, in 2012.|
If you’ve ever bet on a horse race, you probably know that some people win more often than others. But do you know why? The Daily Racing Form (clever name) updates every day and is loaded with critical and current details to aid bettors in handicapping. While the horses are key, there are many other important factors in horse racing. Owners, trainers, jockeys, veterinarians, weather and track conditions are all as integral to victory as the horses themselves.
Site selection is a lot like picking good horses. Unlike horses though, locations have a much longer potential life cycle and can defy the handicappers’ odds and finish strong.
I’m sure you’ve often wondered why a particular business has failed when another one like it has enjoyed tremendous success. I have been in the commercial real estate business for 20 years now, and I still find myself trying to figure out the most successful formulas. As sites and facilities have become more expensive, the site selection process in corporate America has become more precise and scientific. Demographic information is now updated quarterly, and analysis is becoming increasingly complex. And yet, businesses still fail — even those in good locations. There are three new bets coming to town. All are recent notable commercial transactions that I believe possess “come from behind to win” characteristics.
• Gatti Town in Grand Marche Shopping Center on Johnston Street. Located in one of Lafayette’s oldest retail centers, the Gatti space has frequently been referred to as a bad location. Two pizza concepts failed there, but both were under the same ownership and management (bad jockey and trainer). So let’s look at the earlier history of the space. Wal-Mart first occupied it and sold enough goods to justify moving into a new Super Center on Ambassador Caffery. Next came Academy Sports and Outdoors. Its sales were so good that it built, also on Ambassador, what at the time was the largest store in the country. That Academy now ranks as the top store in sales among its approximately 140 locations in the southeastern U.S.
Gatti Town, the superstore version of Mr. Gatti’s Pizza, is well managed and, according to commercial broker Ryan Pécot of Stirling Properties, the location’s sales are very strong. Also, look for new and interesting changes at Grand Marche Shopping Center in 2012.
• Serranos Salsa Company, f/k/a Booty’s and before that Toucan’s, on Johnston at Doucet Road. I think this is a great restaurant site that has suffered from very poor ownership and management in its first two lives. The Serranos concept never seemed to gain traction in Lafayette and was eventually closed, with the facility being held by the same ownership until now. The good news is that Lafayette diners will soon have a new restaurant with longtime LaFonda General Manager Gabo Bako welcoming customers at the door. Another of Pécot’s deals, this is expected to be an instant hit and “new tradition” with Lafayette diners.
• Southern Structures facility at 916-920 Young Street in Youngsville. Acadiana people remember the days when Southern Structures was a bustling company that ranked among Acadiana’s largest employers. After changing hands more than once, the company filed for bankruptcy and ceased operations. Sitting vacant for 2-plus years, FM Bank sold the industrial property to Schilling Acquisitions, headed by Herbert Schilling and represented by attorney Tim Ryan of Williams, Anderson & Ryan. Real estate brokerage was handled by Sam Robertson and Art Barry of Sam Robertson Real Estate and Hammy Davis of Coldwell Banker. The property is situated less than two miles from U.S. Hwy. 90 and contains two industrial buildings (20,000 square feet and 149,000 square feet) and one 11,000-square-foot office building. The 20,000-square-foot building was recently leased to an industrial supply company, and plans are being finalized for the larger industrial building and the office building.
We should all be excited to have these properties back in commerce. Two are providing jobs and dining and entertainment for our community and the other offers existing companies the ability to expand and could potentially attract new industry to Acadiana, adding to our tax base and creating employment opportunities in our area. If I were a betting man, I’d put my money on all three to win.
Monty Warren is vice president and partner of Beau Box Commercial Real Estate, which has offices in Baton Rouge, Lafayette and New Orleans. Warren, based in the Lafayette office, has two decades of commercial real estate experience.
New menu items ready for the Lenten season
The Cane Fire Film Series screens “MaidenTrip” on Monday, March 10, at the AcA.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
The vibe of the tribe done modern
The Louisiana Workforce Commission said Friday that initial claims rose to 2,125 from the previous week's total of 1,964. There were 2,887 initial claims during the comparable week in 2013.
The Board of Elementary and Secondary Education has stalled action on a $3.5 billion annual school funding formula due to state lawmakers by March 15.
The New Orleans Saints have yet to make it official as of this writing, but popular wide receiver Lance Moore has reportedly been cut by the team to free up salary-cap space on the roster.
While two medical marijuana bills are slated for the upcoming legislative session, what some Louisianans might not know is that the plant was approved for therapeutic use by state lawmakers in 1991.
The agenda is shaping up to be lighter than in previous years. But Jindal is term-limited, with fewer than two years remaining in office, and he saw his last big initiative — a proposed rewrite of Louisiana tax law — collapse without getting a vote in 2013.
Sharper has been held without bail because of an arrest warrant issued by Louisiana authorities accusing him and another man of raping two women.
Here's your daily look at late-breaking national and international news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about Friday, March 07, 2014:
Two Lafayette men have been revealed by police as the infamous duo behind a caper that shook our fair city to its core.
She’s the daughter of the legendary Johnny Cash, but she’s been a gifted artist in her own right for three decades, and she’s coming to Lafayette.
The Lafayette Parish School Board has received a second letter of demand related to last year’s insurance debacle, this time from Key Benefit Administrators claiming it’s owed $93,000 from the school system.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
The Louisiana coastline is vanishing faster than mappers can keep track.
A bill that would have overridden local ordinances prohibiting public and private employers from discriminating against lesbian, gay and transgender people has been pulled within less than a week of being filed.
The panel that selects nominees for a controversial New Orleans area flood control board — a board that is suing more than 90 oil, gas and pipeline companies — is set to discuss legislation affecting its independence.
State prison officials cannot keep secret the seller and manufacturer of the two drugs purchased for executions at the Louisiana State Penitentiary, a federal judge ruled Wednesday.
State lawmakers will not appeal a judge's ruling that it was improper to use $3.7 million from a probation and parole officers' retirement fund to balance the state's operating budget.
Prepare yourselves for sun
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
Conservatives have been losing their minds over this satirical bit on the Colbert Report.
Due to the chaos of Mardi Gras and the weather, the entry deadline for this year's INDesign Awards has been extended by one week.
The Lafayette Parish School Board leaves a lot to be desired, but is scrapping the election process in favor of an appointed board the answer?
Queen Evangline and King Gabriel ruled Tuesday night
The House approved legislation Tuesday night to roll back a recently enacted overhaul of the federal flood insurance program, after homeowners in flood-prone areas complained about sharp premium increases.
IND Style does Gabriel
Newsy bits for the fam
The NFL has formally designated New Orleans' Jimmy Graham as a tight end for the purposes of his franchise tag value, which is now set at $7.05 million next season unless Graham and the Saints subsequently agree on a long-term deal.