Mobile, Ala., November 7, 2019 – The former Toys R Us located at 429 Bel Air Blvd. in Mobile, AL, sold on November 6, 2019, to Swintstorage, a self-storage developer out of Savannah, GA, for $2.7 million. The developer plans on renovating the building into climate-controlled self-storage with drive-in capability, according to David Dexter and Niki Coker of NAI Mobile who brokered the transaction.
“The plans for his buildout are impressive,” said Coker. “From what it looks like, he’ll be adding large roll-up doors to the exterior of the building for moving trucks to drive in, unload in the cool and out of the elements, and exit.”
The property consists of a 49,025 square foot building situated on 6.6 acres.
“When we landed the assignment, we had a pretty good idea the backfill user would be something other than typical retail,” said Dexter. “Big box retail has been contracting in recent years, evidence of which appears on the other side of Bel Air Blvd. and Airport Blvd. We targeted call centers, fitness enterprises, municipal and county, entertainment concepts, churches and other non-retail prospects like self-storage.”
Toys R Us occupied the building since they built it in 2005, until the company filed for bankruptcy in 2017, closing more than 700 U.S. stores shortly thereafter. The stores were then put up for bid, including the one in Mobile that ended up conveying to a group out of Los Angeles, CA, for $790,000.00, according to probate records.
“While we miss the youthful nostalgia associated with Toys R Us,” said Coker, “to be able to deliver a return on investment of this magnitude on a commercial property in such a short timeframe is a true testament to the power of redevelopment and continued growth of Mobile.”
“The property went on the market in Q4 2018, and by Q1 2019 we received our first Letter of Intent from an Atlanta-based self-storage developer,” said Dexter, “and then another [offer] from Houston, then central Florida and other folks from bigger markets. They liked what they saw in this specific location, the one, three and five-mile demographics, its proximity to the I-65/Airport Blvd. interchange and the property’s central location in the Mobile market.”
The developer is re-listing the southern 1.68-acre parcel with NAI Mobile to sell separately. Please call NAI Mobile for more information regarding the outparcel for sale.
NAI Mobile is a team of seasoned professionals with over 175 years of experience in all facets of commercial real estate serving southwest Alabama. NAI Mobile is the local footprint of NAI Global, an international network of over 375 firms spanning five continents. Our diverse and robust partnership offers a unique presence as the local, full-service firm you want, with the global reach you need.