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.
The Louisiana Supreme Court has punted on its first chance to decide whether a new state constitutional provision declaring gun possession a fundamental right could void a long list of criminal statutes that regulate firearms.
New Orleans' offense, which ranks sixth in the NFL, isn't helping many of its skill players pile up Pro Bowl-type stats. Rather, the approach of coach Sean Payton and quarterback Drew Brees has enabled a wide range of play-makers to emerge periodically with high-production outings.
Amid mounting pressure from deep-pocketed business interests, an ordinance that would have phased out a 2 percent rebate merchants in the city and unincorporated Lafayette Parish receive for collecting sales taxes has been pulled.
From jewelry to home goods, deals abound
Forgiving shapes for NOLA Bowl
Here's your daily look at late-breaking national and international news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about Thursday, December 12, 2013:
As part of a national undertaking known by industry insiders as the “Butterfly Project,” a rebranded version of The Daily Advertiser is set to launch with Sunday’s edition of the Gannett-owned paper.
Louisiana moved up a slot to 48th in the ranking of healthy states — once again, thank God for Mississippi! — so all this frettin’ about Gov. Bobby Jindal’s refusal to expand Medicaid per Obamacare ... fuggidaboutit! We don’t need Medicaid no more!
The Denham Springs woman who placed Christmas lights in the shape of a butter finger on her roof in a display of anger directed at neighbors has doubled the trouble for the 2013 holiday season.
The New Orleans architect behind the 1984 World’s Fair also left his mark on Lafayette.
Laid back vibe just right for NOLA Bowl
The 30-second commercial, to run around the state, is the Democratic senator's first TV spot in her bid for re-election to a fourth term.
It's a number that has edged up but falls far short of the thousands who are eligible for subsidized coverage.
A group of mostly higher education leaders will make recommendations to state lawmakers about how to tweak the policies governing tuition rates charged at the state's public colleges.
Week long specials and a ribbon cutting celebration held in Parc Lafayette
Fort Worth company's new facility at Lafayette Regional Airport will build helicopters primarily for the export market.
Could River Ranch restaurant be the next star?
Move over Hooters — there’s a new breastaurant coming to town.
Hashtag, retweet, like, share and do whatever else it takes to get in good today with the jolly man in red.
That would be Congressman John Fleming talking about Sen. David Vitter.