MOUNT VERNON, Ill. (August 27, 2013) – Northbrook, Ill.-based Pine Tree Commercial Realty LLC is pleased to announce that it recently signed Hobby Lobby for 52,729 square feet of space at Times Square Mall in Mount Vernon, Ill. according to Pine Tree Executive Vice President Bruce Boruszak. The firm owns the 269,328 square foot center in partnership with St. Louis-based The Sansone Group and Elgin, Ill.-based Wanxiang America Real Estate Group, and is the managing partner overseeing operations and leasing. “Kicking off with Hobby Lobby puts our leasing of the soon to be vacant areas of the center in fast gear,” Mr. Boruszak said. “We expect to announce additional major new leases in the coming weeks.”
“Hobby Lobby is anticipated to open here in the first quarter of 2014,” says Mr. Boruszak. “And if Mount Vernon’s community Facebook posts are any indication, we’re not the only ones excited about having them come to the area. We are very pleased with the talk in town even before this formal announcement.” Times Square Mall has been the dominant retail property in the Mount Vernon community since 1974. Pine Tree and its partners purchased the property in May 2012, and plan to redevelop the center beginning this fall to keep it fresh and appealing to the community and prospective new tenants.
This will be the first Hobby Lobby located in Mount Vernon, Ill., with the closest listed in Carbondale and Fairview Heights, 44 and 62 miles away, respectively. “We’re absolutely happy to welcome Hobby Lobby to our city,” says Mayor Mary Jane Chesley. “Pine Tree and its partners have really been instrumental in establishing a relationship with a national retailer that is a perfect fit for our community.”
HOBBY LOBBY JUST AS EXCITED
Officials at Hobby Lobby Stores Inc., a family-owned company headquartered in Oklahoma City, have the same to say about the community. “We feel that the market is underserved and that we can bring a very unique shopping experience to the area. We are looking forward to becoming part of the community ,” says Hobby Lobby’s spokespersonVincent Parker.
Hobby Lobby was founded 43 years ago by by David Green who began building mini picture frames in the Green family’s garage in Oklahoma City, and has now expanded into more than 540 arts and crafts stores nationwide. “We are now the go-to location for families looking for everything from furniture and vases to clocks, birdhouses and arts and crafts supplies,” says Mr. Parker. “And yes, those picture frames are still for sale.”
“The constant element throughout our growth has been our loyal customers and our outstanding employees. The foundation of our business has been and will continue to be strong values based on biblical principles, including integrity, service to others and giving back to those in need. We thank everyone who has contributed to our success during the past four decades and look forward to many more years of growth and service.”
Who is Hobby Lobby’s target audience? “Anyone and everyone, “says Mr. Parker, from crafters to decorators, kids and adults, men and women. There is something for all.”
Mr. Boruszak of Pine Tree says that having a great national like Hobby Lobby has many benefits for this community. “We’re looking forward to both the economic and aesthetic aspects of their arrival,” he says.
After Hobby Lobby trains a store manager and co-manager at another store, they will relocate them to this new store, and hire anywhere from 30 to 50 local employees in various positions. According to Hobby Lobby, positions will range from cashiers, stockers, custom picture framers, an office manager, floral designer and department heads for the different areas of the store, including floral, fabric, needlework, art, hobbies, wearables, jewelry, crafts, cards, party, scrapbooking, seasonal and home accents.
Times Square Mall is located on the southeast corner of Broadway Street (State Route 15) and 42nd Street in Mount Vernon, a regional retail hub about 80 miles east of St. Louis. JCPenney, Dunham Sports and Peebles anchor the center, which is further complemented by national retailers GNC, Maurices, Claire’s, Bath & Body Works, Hallmark, Glik’s, Shoe Sensation, Subway and Wendy’s.
Pine Tree Commercial Realty LLC is a full-service real estate development company based in Northbrook, Ill. Since its founding in 1995, Pine Tree has acquired and developed 64 properties valued over $675 million. The company’s projects are located across the United States.
Founded in 1957 by Anthony F. Sansone, Sr., Sansone Group is a nationally recognized St. Louis-based commercial real estate firm that specializes in property and facility management, brokerage, development and redevelopment of retail, industrial, office and residential properties. Currently Sansone Group has over 20 million square feet of property in 12 states. Headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri, Sansone Group has offices in Overland Park, Kansas, Fayetteville, Arkansas, Knoxville, Tennessee, Nashville, Tennessee, West Palm Beach, Florida, Coral Springs, Florida and Miami, Florida.
Pine Tree Commercial Realty LLC: www.pinetreecommercial.com
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