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Around The Portfolio

Embracing Retail Trends, Next Adds Entertainment/Activity Center

Next Realty continues to embrace what traditionally may have been atypical uses for its retail holdings with the opening of the second Urban Air Adventure Park. The most recent lease transaction with an Urban Air franchisee was for 28,000 square feet of space at 3201 E. Lincoln Highway in Merrillville, IN.

The indoor entertainment and kids’ activity franchise completes the leasing at the Merrillville retail center. Other tenants include Big Lots, which occupies 50,000 square feet of space and Comcast Xfinity which occupies 6,000 square feet.

A little more than three years ago, another Urban Air Adventure Park franchisee leased 30,079 square feet at 1735 Galleria Blvd. in Franklin, TN. The addition of Urban Air also completed the leasing activity at the center in TN.

Increasingly, as the retail sector continues to evolve, property owners like Next are adapting their targeted marketing and leasing efforts to attract new tenants and uses.  Space previously occupied by big box retailers provides an attractive opportunity for activity/ entertainment uses like Urban Air. The adventure park features trampolines, climbing walls, virtual reality, a slam dunk zone, a ropes course, and an obstacle course, among many other attractions. There is also a food/concession area.

Next has broadened marketing and leasing efforts at a number of its centers to reshape the makeup of certain assets. At Wilmette Commons, for example, the center has become oriented toward health, beauty and fitness retailers. At Lincolnshire Commons, a roster of new restaurants helped to further elevate the positioning of the center.

Around the Portfolio

Following is an update on various activities around the Next Realty portfolio of properties, including leases, buildouts and tenant openings.

Chipotle has completed a lease for 2,400 square feet of space at The Shops at Flint Creek, the Heinen’s-anchored center at 550 Hough Road in Barrington, IL. The restaurant will operate in a portion of the 4,500-square-foot outlot that formerly had been occupied by a bank. An early 2Q2024 opening is planned.

Next is in the final stages of negotiation for a lease of the remaining 3,161-square-foot restaurant space at Kingsbury Plaza in the River North submarket downtown. More details to come on this transaction that fills the former Three Greens space.

Buildout of the Aldi space at Roosevelt Plaza continues on schedule in anticipation of a late 2023 opening of the 22,951-square-foot grocery store.

Drop The Bop, featuring Asian cuisine, completed a lease for 1,800 square feet and is now open at Lincolnshire Commons. Sola Salon Suites has opened its 5,697-square-foot salon that rents out spaces to beauty consultants and technicians— stylists, colorists, etc. Stretch Zone and Redwing Shoes also recently opened at the center.