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CLEARWATER, FL-A go-kart track operator has found a new way to use an existing industrial building: Bertrand Ollier, owner of Tampa Bay Grand Prix, will open an indoor track next month inside 40,000 square feet at 12350 Automobile Blvd., in a space previously occupied by building materials supplier Alpha Tile & Stone.

New York City-based Studley Inc. worked with Ollier to find an appropriate spot to open the indoor track, which will utilize Italian-made electrical carts in a high-ceiling, climate-controlled setting. Additional details of the lease are not being disclosed, though local brokers point out that Ollier is now able to take advantage of below-market rents.

“Given the current market, he’s now able to make better sense of the numbers,” Jon Slater, managing director of Studley’s Tampa office, tells GlobeSt.com. He adds that moving into an industrial building is better financially than seeking big-box retail space, which commands much higher rents despite its abundance.

Ollier, who has operated an outdoor go-kart track at an old auto dealership along US 19 for the past five years, says he plans to market Tampa Bay Grand Prix as a venue for corporate and other private events. He points out that having an indoor track, besides being able to offer air conditioning, prevents the need to cancel bookings because of inclement weather.

“I have had this vision for quite some time, but high real estate prices made the venture here cost-prohibitive,” Ollier says. “While the soft market for some hurts business, for me it has created an opportunity.”

Slater notes that other prospective tenants may be able to work with landlords lately to find appropriate alternative uses for buildings where there are few or no intended users. “We’ve been able to find some good win-win deals for our clients,” he says.

Automobile Boulevard LLC is the owner of the former Alpha Tile building. CB Richard Ellis brokers John Jenkins and Brooke Pillinger represented the landlord in negotiating the new lease with Ollier.

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