JONESBORO, AR-Space vacated by Goody’s Family Clothing at Bernard Crossing in late February has been partially taken over due to Hobby Lobby’s expansion to approximately 62,000 square feet. The crafts store has taken 10,000 square feet of the 30,000 square feet once leased by Goody’s before its January 2009 bankruptcy.

The deal also extends Hobby Lobby’s Bernard Crossing’s lease by another 13 years. Emmet Austin, chief investment officer with Bernard Crossing owner Stonemar Properties tells that the center at 2400E. Highland Dr. houses the city’s only Hobby Lobby. “Hobby Lobby was eager to take over the space,” he comments. “They’re moving in there right away.”

Austin says when Goody’s revealed it was having difficulties late in 2008, Stonemar began talks with Hobby Lobby for potential expansion. “What we like to do in the center is keep tenants involved and talk with them,” he adds. “That way, they can act when there is opportunity for them to expand.”

He goes on to say the remaining Goody’s space isn’t yet spoken for, though several national retailers have shown interest. Even more interesting, especially in the current economy, is that remaining tenants haven’t approached Stonemar for rent reductions or concessions. “No one’s approached us for favor,” he says. “It’s a great location that seems to be doing fairly well.”

Stonemar Properties, located in New York City, acquired the 105,000-square-foot Bernard Court and neighboring property 50,000-square-foot Crossroads Shopping Center in late 2007 for $16 million, from developer Belz-Burrow. Bernard Court is next to a Wal-Mart Supercenter, and both properties are across Highland Drive from Indian Mall.

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