Megastore Garden Ridge To Move Into Cutler Ridge Mall
By Marilyn Bowden
Garden Ridge, a Houston-based home decor and crafts chain, will open a megastore in Cutler Ridge Mall early next year, executives say.
Howard Rosenthal, regional vice president for Grubb & Ellis Management Services, which has been managing the mall for about a year, said the firm leased more than 100,000 square feet for its third Florida location.
"This is going to be a great store for us," he said. "With homes accessories, arts & crafts and seasonal decorations, it caters to the female. This will give them great access to the Cutler Ridge residential area."
The chain began as a private enterprise in 1979 in Garden Ridge, TX, a suburb of San Antonio, said Executive Vice President Gary Ramsay.
"We presently have 33 stores in 13 states and are opening three more this year," he said. "Most are in Texas, Oklahoma and Georgia. But we do plan a number of new stores in the Miami area as well as across the state of Florida."
There’s a Garden Ridge in Jacksonville, he said, and another will open at Sawgrass Mills in September.
Occupancy at the South Miami-Dade mall, which has struggled with the rest of the area since Hurricane Andrew devastated South Dade in 1992, was reported at just below 85% last month in Sobel’s Retail Investment Report, a monthly market review compiled by Lee Sobel of the retail investment properties group at CB Richard Ellis. This lease and a few smaller ones in the works will take the retail center to 97% occupancy, Mr. Rosenthal said.
"I see this as a very positive event for South Miami-Dade," said Paco Diaz, a retail associate at CB Richard Ellis, "one that may trigger other retailer activity in the area. This area of town is finally seeing its day."
He said the Cutler Ridge Mall is attractive to a retailer of this size because large empty spaces are scarce in the area.