GrandMarc retail space empty after months of vacancy

Out of 30,000 square feet of retail space on the first level of the GrandMarc at Westberry Place, 7,000 square feet have been leased, said a property company representative.Two businesses, Perrotti’s Pizza and CitiBank, have leased space in the GrandMarc. Andrew Harris, assistant asset manager for Phoenix Property Company, which owns and operates the GrandMarc, said the company would like to bring in businesses such as a sports bar, a casual dining restaurant, a hair and nails salon, an ice cream shop and a tanning salon, but no specific additional businesses have agreed to leasing space yet.

Perrotti’s is expected to move in by the first of the year, and CitiBank will follow shortly after, Harris said.

Johanna Janovsky, business manager for the GrandMarc, said she had hoped the retail space would be filled by December.

“People have just fallen through,” Janovsky said.

Harris said the biggest challenge is generating interest for the area. Cost isn’t an issue in getting businesses to lease space, he said.

“It’s in the $30 per square foot range,” Harris said. “We don’t feel that’s out of line at all.”

University Park Village, where Barnes and Noble and Blue Mesa are located, rents space for an average of $33 a square foot, said Susan Holland, the leasing manager for University Park Village.

Harris said he wishes the entire leasing area was full, but he is still trying to create interest for businesses to move to the GrandMarc.

“We’re trying to attract tenants that are higher end and upscale,” Harris said. “The location is great right there by TCU.”

Harris said the space remaining in the GrandMarc can be renovated to fit the needs of the businesses that lease space.

“We can throw up walls wherever they like,” Harris said.

Both Janovsky and Harris said they don’t think Berry Street construction has kept businesses from wanting to lease space at the GrandMarc.

“The construction is more of a positive thing since the street will look much nicer when it’s done,” Harris said. “It should help us attract businesses.”

The manager of Perrotti’s said she is excited to move the restaurant into the GrandMarc.

“I think business will improve immensely,” said Tammy Rollins, Perrotti’s manager. “It’s already great just across the street and it will only get better once we are in the building.”

One student living in the GrandMarc said he is disappointed there have been no businesses in the building.

“Shops weren’t the reason I moved in here,” said Drew Combs, a junior marketing major. “But we weren’t given everything we were promised.”

Combs said he thinks a sports bar would be a good addition to the GrandMarc and it would be a great improvement to get shops in quickly.

“It’s a decent place to live,” Combs said. “They just have some things to work on.