Five Guys and Panera to join Boot Barn, Planet Fitness in south St. Louis County shopping center – The Business Journals

The new owner of a shopping center that sat mostly vacant for years is taking advantage of a wave of new development along South Lindbergh Boulevard by adding a retail store new to St. Louis along with a pair of sought-after chain restaurants.
The shopping center at 6926 S. Lindbergh Blvd. in south St. Louis County, near South County Center mall, was owned and anchored for decades by Toys R Us, whose store there closed in 2018. But current Ohio-based owner Cornerstone Properties, which operates Planet Fitness locations, purchased the site last year for $3.75 million to open a fitness center location, and it has filled the empty big-box space and created two outlots for restaurants along Lindbergh.
California-based Western wear retailer Boot Barn opened a store in the shopping center earlier this year. And now Five Guys and Panera restaurants are under construction and expected to open in the next three to four months, according to Kevin Shapiro of Location Commercial Real Estate, who served as the broker for the new leases.
As the site’s anchor, Planet Fitness built out 30,000 square feet of the former Toys R Us, and Boot Barn occupies the other 12,000 square feet. Their space is adjacent to an existing Joann Fabrics & Crafts store at 6910 S. Lindbergh, which is also owned by Cornerstone.
Boot Barn is the largest company in the country specializing in Western gear, and this is its first store in the St. Louis region, said Shapiro, who represented the owner in the leasing deals.
Although the property sat mostly unoccupied for years, lining up new deals was a seamless process once Shapiro began shopping the sites after Cornerstone became owner, he said. It took a few months to sign up Boot Barn.
For the company’s first location in St. Louis, Boot Barn chose the South County site for its accessibility to almost any part of the region, with two nearby interstates, Shapiro said.
“It’s a super-regional site to serve a lot of people,” said Shapiro, who predicted the retailer will open more stores in the region.
Knowing which retailers had been searching around South County for sites also helped quickly line up Five Guys and Panera for the outlot along Lindbergh. Shapiro knew sites that allow drive-thru restaurants in South County are at a premium, he said, so he reached out to burger chain Five Guys, which had been looking for sites around South County and Lindbergh Boulevard for years.
“It was a pretty easy sales pitch for both of them,” Shapiro said. “South County is a very, very strong retail market. Most retailers and restaurants do very, very well in South County. It’s also a tight market. It is not over retailed. There’s quite a few retailers out there that would love to have homes in South County that are still looking.”
Other retailers that have been looking for sites have settled on locations up and down South Lindbergh, leading to a flurry of new construction activity along the busy corridor. More than 106,000 square feet of new retail is under construction in the South County submarket, according to a second-quarter report from Gershman Commercial Real Estate. The retail vacancy rate was 7.5%, with quoted lease rates of $13.65 per square foot, according to the research.
The Cornerstone Properties site is directly across the street from a $3 million overhaul of the Marshalls Plaza shopping center, which is constructing a new Marshalls, relocating a Michaels craft store from another site on Lindbergh, and adding Burlington Coat Factory and Five Below stores.
To the south of Cornerstone Properties’ Planet Fitness site, QuikTrip is planning a new gas station and convenience store at the corner of Lindbergh and Lemay Ferry Road that will replace an existing gas station on Lemay Ferry.
To the north of the site, Kloss Furniture is converting a closed Schnucks grocery store to a new 80,000-square-foot furniture showroom to anchor the shopping center at 5780 S. Lindbergh. And electric carmaker Tesla is opening a new service center and dealership at 5711 S. Lindbergh, next to a soon-to-be-rebranded Club Car Wash that was built in 2018.
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