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Hobby Lobby, Marshalls sign leases

River Oaks Shopping Center sold for $5.1 million

Posted: September 6, 2018 4:57 p.m.
Updated: September 7, 2018 1:00 a.m.
Martin L. Cahn/C-I

The unadorned façade of the former Kmart at River Oaks Shopping Center in Camden belies the fact that two leases have been signed by new tenants. Hobby Lobby and Marshalls will take over the former department store space, while Big Lots will remain. The leases are with BMS Camden Associates LLC, an ancillary company of Bright-Meyers 2001 LLC. BMS purchased the entire shopping center, including Chick-Fil-A, on Aug. 31 for $5.1 million.

According to copies of leases signed on Aug. 16 and 30 and filed with the Kershaw County Registrar of Deeds, Hobby Lobby and Marshalls are coming to Camden.

The two companies signed the leases with BMS Camden Associates LLC, c/o Myers Brothers Associates LLC of Atlanta. Copies of the leases were forwarded to the Fletcher Bright Company of Chattanooga, Tenn.

On Aug. 31, BMS purchased the entire shopping center -- including the already annexed portion where Chick-Fil-A is located -- for “$5 and other good and valuable consideration” from Wateree Associates LLC. According to an affidavit of consideration attached to the deed, BMS is paying Wateree $5.1 million for the commercial property.

The Myers and Bright names link BMS to Bright-Meyers 2001 LLC of Georgia, the company for which the city of Camden offered an incentive package to redevelop the River Oaks Shopping Center, the former home of Kmart.

During its June 26 meeting, Camden City Council unanimously approved not only the incentive package, but first reading of an ordinance that would annex the shopping center into the city. The city has yet to take up second reading of the annexation.

The city’s incentives to Bright-Meyers include paying the costs of constructing and installing utility infrastructure, including relocating water and sewer mains and extending such services to the property; rebating water and sewer tap, meter, permitting, impact, zoning, plan review and building permit fees, which Bright-Meyers would pay up front, after the completion of the project and within 30 days of being issued a certificate of occupancy; and a façade improvement grant of up to $30,000.

BMS’ purchase of the shopping center lists the property in three parcels totaling 14.8 acres. The total area of the retail buildings (not including Chick-Fil-A) is 146,732 square feet.

To purchase the shopping center and conduct any necessary renovations prior to Hobby Lobby, Marshalls and any other prospective tenants moving in, BMS took out a $9.687 million loan from First Tennessee Bank of Chattanooga. In the mortgage, also filed at the government center, BMS indicates that Big Lots -- which was updating its signage on Thursday -- will continue to serve as an anchor for the shopping center along with Hobby Lobby and Marshalls.

In addition, BMS filed five of what are known as subordinations to the mortgage with each of the following tenants: Big Lots, Citi Trends, Chick-Fil-A, Hobby Lobby and Marshalls. H. Rubin Vision Center and Medi Home Care recently vacated their spaces at the northern end of the center.

The lease signed Aug. 16 with Hobby Lobby indicates it would be for 10 years, with the right to extend the lease for three additional successive five-year periods. The lease also includes a list of 26 “prohibited uses,” apparently set by Hobby Lobby. Those prohibited uses are:

• any store selling liquor with the exception of national grocery stores or drug stores/pharmacies;

• bowling alleys, billiard parlors or arcades -- however, billiard tables, pinball machines and video games themselves could be used by other businesses;

• second-hand stores, except “upscale used goods stores;”

• pawn shops;

• head shop, electronic cigarette shop or stores selling marijuana;

• payday loan or check cashing provider except for those as an “incidental” part of another store;

• child care center;

• funeral home or mortuary;

• school, church or other place of worship;

• flea market;

• tattoo parlor or body piercing shop;

• theater;

• adult video store or book shop;

• night club;

• health clubs or gyms except in what are being considered “permissible health club areas or no more than 6,000 square feet -- the same for massage parlors;

• betting, gambling, bingo or other gaming;

• self-service laundry;

• hotels or motels;

• car wash, auto body shop, auto rental business or junk yard;

• animal facilities, except national or regional pet stores chains, with examples including Petco, PetSmart, Pet Supermarket or Petsense, but they cannot offer boarding services;

• manufacturing operations;

• government owned or operated healthcare clinic;

• abortion clinics, including Planned Parenthood; and

• anything that might constitute a public or private nuisance.

There are some prohibited uses mentioned in a paragraph in Marshalls’ Aug. 30 lease. Most notably, it mentions that no restaurants would be permitted except -- similarly as in Hobby Lobby’s lease concerning health clubs and massage parlors -- in what would be considered “permissible restaurant areas.”

Marshalls’ lease is also for 10 years, with the right to extend the lease for four consecutive five-year periods.

Based on exhibits attached to both leases, Hobby Lobby would lease 50,000 square feet of the former Kmart space, while Marshalls would lease 22,000 square feet, also part of the former Kmart.

In addition to whatever might take over the H. Rubin and Medi Home space (which totals 3,000 square feet), the exhibits show a possible change up in who might be leasing the space between that and Big Lots, despite the subordination documents.

Immediately next to Big Lots, Citi Trends currently occupies a 6,000-square-foot space. However, that space is marked “Petsense” on the exhibits, one of the allowed animal-related companies mentioned in Hobby Lobby’s exceptions to its prohibited use of animal facilities. No lease or subordination documents yet exist for Petsense, and the label could be a placeholder for something else.

On the other end of the shopping center, the exhibits show a portion of the former Kmart divided into two retail spaces, one of 8,500 square feet, the other of 5,900 square feet. Finally, and as shown on redevelopment documents filed by Bright-Meyers in late June, the new exhibits show an 8,000-square-foot outparcel, marked for retail use, near the entrance to the shopping center that is closest to the Wateree River bridge.

Katie Babb, a marketing specialist with TJX, which owns Marshalls, said in an email Thursday that Marshalls is not ready to announce a new store in Camden.

“When opening new stores, we tend to announce our plans when we believe the time is right to do so competitively,” Babb said. “Generally speaking, it is our practice not to announce store openings until close to an intended opening date.”
As of deadline Thursday, Hobby Lobby had not returned an email seeking comment and Camden Mayor Alfred Mae Drakeford stated she could not comment on the matter.

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