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.
Pop-up dinner of chef Justin Girouard’s creations reflect farming traditions
Wednesday's Blogs from the Bog!
Here's your daily look at late-breaking national and international news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about Wednesday, April 16, 2014:
newsy bits for the fam
Festival International de Louisiane is right around the corner — April 23-27 — and IND Monthly’s second annual Fest fIND contest is along for the ride.
Acadian rep notifies would-be supporters that an April 25 fundraiser for the embattled U.S. rep won’t go on as planned.
Georgia-based fried chicken chain would go up against Raising Cane’s, Chick-fil-A and others (like the Popeyes near its proposed location).
While it isn’t all too unusual for public bodies to have hired security present during meetings, the LPSB’s push to do so is arguably a response to the antics of one board member.
“I’m running. Why would I be raising all this money? Just to have to return it to people?”
With incumbent U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu watching from afar, and with a united Democratic Party in her corner, the fight to get the GOP officially behind Congressman Bill Cassidy is gaining just as much momentum as it is hushed controversy.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
15th Judicial District Judge Durwood Conque has announced that he will not seek re-election after 27 years on the bench.
The perfect color for Easter Sunday
The controversial standardized tests are set to be used in third-grade through eighth-grade public school classrooms next year.
The Louisiana Senate has agreed to prohibit unmanned aircraft from flying over chemical plants, water treatment systems, telecommunications networks and other items considered "critical infrastructure" in Louisiana.
A Scott businessman has pleaded guilty to failing to report a conspiracy to award Opelousas Housing Authority construction bids to his company.
It didn’t take long for KATC TV 3 to jump all over the news of a dead body found in Girard Park, but in its rush to produce headlines, the local TV station got sloppy.
Egg-citing ideas for sharing at family gatherings
An unholy trinity of civil-society upheavalers whose first names are not Conner, Tanner or Logan are facing charges in Eunice.
Now that lawmakers have shot down efforts to cap annual interest rates for payday loans, supporters for stricter regulations of the storefront lenders are rallying behind another strategy.
The Appropriations Committee held public testimony day, letting people talk about what they like or don't like about Gov. Bobby Jindal's budget recommendations for the 2014-15 fiscal year that begins July 1.
Court-appointed examiner says Lafayette businessman was “effectively on both sides” of transactions, opens door for legal action against him.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
Lafayette-based insurance broker/risk management group bought by Florida firm for undisclosed sum; principals Landry and Harris continue to run local operations.
Lafayette police are investigating the death of a 21-year-old woman whose body was found early Sunday in a drainage ditch in Girard Park.
Former Grant parish District Attorney Ed Tarpley says he's running for the U.S. House seat currently held by Republican Vance McAllister of Swartz.
Louisiana-Lafayette got strong starting pitching and timely hitting to hold off Arkansas-Little Rock 6-3 in Sun Belt Conference baseball in Lafayette, La.
The life and legacy of Dave Perkins will be commemorated with a special INDesign Lifetime Achievement Award as part of the 2014 event on April 24.