Owners say Martin's building won't be another vacant space
Hundreds rushed the doors at the grand opening of a brand new Martins Supermarket on South Bend’s west side Thursday morning.
But just one mile down the road, the old Martins building on Western Avenue sits empty with sale signs in the windows. Baceline Investments out of Colorado owns the Centre West Plaza, and says it’s known about the Martin’s relocation plan for two years now.
“We’ve had ample time to begin marketing,” said Max Bradley, Portfolio Manager at Baceline Investments.
But some are leery after other buildings sat vacant for years like K-Mart on Western Avenue. It was empty for 15 years and many neighboring businesses like Linden Grill just want to make sure that doesn’t happen here again.
“It’s the dynamics of everybody that’s there, and what they can afford and all that type of stuff is what we’re more concerned about. I’m hoping that it’ll…. It’ll work itself out,” said Ashley Dote, General Manger at Linden Grill.
But Max Bradley who is overseeing the space says they’ve had several meetings with the South Bend Regional Chamber of Commerce to not only fill the space, but meet the needs of the community too.
“I’ve had some good meetings with them in regards to the surrounding area needs and what its missing and what the city would like to see there, so something that would support community and both the existing businesses that are in the smaller spaces that would remain there after martins left,” said Bradley.
They’ve already had several inquiries.
“We’re getting pretty close with a group to take a significant portion of it here. We’re very proactive and, that it would sit vacant for a while doesn’t really sit well with us or with the community we’re in so to answer your question, no it won’t sit vacant,” said Bradley.
Martin’s Supermarket’s lease is not up until the end of May of 2017, so Baceline Investments can’t legally access it until then and that’s when indoor renovations and construction will begin if they’re necessary for the new tenant.