COLUMBIA, MD-Madison Marquette has acquired a 90,000-square-footformer Home Expo Design Center here, situated on a 10-acre parcel.The acquisition was made in conjunction with MCB Real Estatethrough its Retail Enhancement Fund.

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The new owners are taking what is becoming a standard approachto empty big boxes in this real estate cycle--dividing them up toattract smaller retail tenants. In this case, the facility has justbeen leased by a Toys R Us/Babies R Us, combo store, which istaking 63,000 square feet. The build-out is expected to deliver intime for the holiday season.

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The remaining space is available for lease at asking rates thatare in the low- to mid-teens, depending on the type of build outallowance, Jay Lask, managing director of investments of MadisonMarquette, tells GlobeSt.com. Demand is strong for the space, hesays. "We anticipate having the rest of it leased up quickly withat least one other major junior anchor box tenant." Lask saysretail supply, at least for big box space, is somewhat constrainedin the submarket, thus the pent-up demand.

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The parcel is part of Columbia Center II, a retail centerlocated at the Northwest corner of Snowden River Parkway and DobbinRoad. It is also part of a local retail corridor that includesTarget, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Costco and Panera Bread.

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Erika Morphy

Erika Morphy has been writing about commercial real estate at GlobeSt.com for more than ten years, covering the capital markets, the Mid-Atlantic region and national topics. She's a nerd so favorite examples of the former include accounting standards, Basel III and what Congress is brewing.