National retailers could follow downtown Tucson's housing boom

Wednesday, 15 November 2017, 05:12:30 AM. Some national retailers say they're waiting to see if the population emerges around downtown before committing to opening stores.
As residential projects in downtown Tucson move forward at varying phases of development, some national retailers are sitting on the fence, waiting to see if the population emerges before committing to move in. With the pending departure of Hydra, the prominent corner of Sixth and Congress streets will have two major vacancies. The former Chicago Store, which was bought by local investors last year, is still empty. The challenge has been deciding between taking a risk with a local retailer who is experimenting with a concept or waiting for the head count to rise and landing a national chain, said Marcel Dabdoub, a major downtown investor and co-owner of the Chicago Store building. “It’s really not a linear process,” he said. “We have some retailers that want to make the move … thinking this is a good time because there’s availability now and there may not be later. “Others think there’s not enough of a customer base yet to make the move.” After CVS changed its mind about occupying the Chicago Store building, Dabdoub and his partners are considering parceling the building among multiple tenants. “If one tenant takes the whole building, it will have to be well-established and willing to stay there for the long term,” he said. “If we parcel it up, we can move tenants in and out while they perfect their business model.” Online retail trends will continue to have an impact on how much of a footprint retailers want to have in brick and mortar, Dabdoub said. As Hydra owner Margo...Read more
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