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JONESBORO, AR-Less than a year after Goody’s Family Clothing declared bankruptcy and vacated its 30,000-square-foot space at the 105,000-square-foot Bernard Court Shopping Center, the space is now backfilled, thanks to a 10-year, $2 million lease signed by Ashley Furniture Homestore. The furniture company, which took approximately 25,000 square feet, joins Hobby Lobby, which also expanded into the empty space last summer.

Ashley plans a Q1 2010 opening in its new space at 1843 E. Highland Dr. Jonathan Gould, CEO with asset owner Stonemar Properties, says the transaction was fairly quick especially given current market conditions. “I’ve had deals I’ve been working on for 14 to 16 months. This was a nice change,” Gould says.

He tells GlobeSt.com that there wasn’t much time between Goody’s vacating the space in January 2009 and the backfill. Leasing out empty box space of 25,000 square feet and above can take longer than a year. “This took place faster than I’d anticipated,” Gould acknowledges.

Now New York City based Stonemar is hard at work to lease up the last bit of space at an adjacent property it owns, the 50,000-square-foot Crossroads Shopping Center. Gould says the space has been dark for some time, but there is interest in it. “Crossroads is at main and main,” he adds. “This isn’t called ‘Crossroads’ by accident.”

Stonemar acquired Bernard Court and Crossroads Shopping Centers for $16 million in 2007. Other tenants in the adjoining properties include Shoe Carnival, Office Max and Mattress King. Both properties are also adjacent to a Walmart SuperCenter.

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