SEATTLE, WA-There's a surplus of surplus big-box properties onthe market, says retail specialist Steve Ruggiero, owner ofPoulsbo-based First American Properties. Ruggiero, who hasrepresented retailers like Best Products and Ernst in thedisposition of excess sites and leases in bankruptcy, sayscompanies should expect a minimum of 12 to 24 months to putsolutions in place.

“There is a heavy supply of surplus buildings (in Puget Sound),”says Ruggiero. “There's interest in them, across the board, butsome of these deals can be difficult to make.”

In some cases, Ruggiero says a large space that worked well fora single big-box retailer may not be easily reworked to accommodatetwo or more tenants (a necessary move when no large, singleprospects are interested). Changes in market conditions can alsomake dealing in surplus dispositions seem like threading a needlewith a camel—such as when a tenant is tied to a lease at a ratehigher than the current market will bear.

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