East End center got its groove back with infusion of new tenants

East End center got its groove back with infusion of new tenants

by Marty Finley, 

What happens when a premiere tenant leaves a tried-but-true older property for the newest office space on the block?

For a landlord, that can be a source of not only lost revenue but hurt pride.

But in the case of Landis Lakes Townecenter, it was potentially backbreaking. The mixed-use development — two two-story buildings totaling more than 86,000 square feet serving office and retail users — is located at the corner of South English Station Road and Shelbyville Road in Middletown.

Last week, I reported about the crippling departure of Steel Technologies Inc., which left Landis Lakes for 700 North Hurstbourne, a new office building in the University of Louisville ShelbyHurst Office and Research Park.

The loss of the steel processing company drove Landis Lake Townecenter’s occupancy rate to 43 percent.

While the mixed-use development struggled, landlord Faulkner Real Estate, a Louisville-based real estate firm, quickly regrouped and benefited from a little luck mixed with dogged pursuit of new tenants.

The combination worked as the firm signed four new tenants who will occupy more than 41,000 square feet: Baptist Healthcare System Inc., private-equity health care firm Confluent Health LLC, Edward Jones Financial Services and new restaurant concept Gander, an American Grill.

At 24,000 square feet, Baptist is taking the most space for accounts payable and supply chain solutions workers, while Confluent Health has taken about 11,000 square feet for a corporate headquarters.

All but Gander have moved in, and the restaurant, which will serve its own take on American dishes, will open this summer, Fred Faulkner, president and CEO of Faulkner Real Estate, told Louisville Business First.

The signings leave Landis Lakes Townecenter with only about 8,000 square feet of leasable space. Most is retail, suitable for small restaurants or a coffee shop.

Faulkner said some of the vacant space is move-in ready while some needs work. Faulkner Real Estate handles construction work for tenants. He declined to disclose the investment to prepare the spaces for the four new tenants.

Faulkner, a veteran Realtor, said this type of tenant windfall doesn’t happen every day, particularly in smaller buildings that attract smaller users. A big recovery is more typical with larger buildings where one user takes a substantial amount of space at once.

“We’ve had this happen before, but we’ve been doing this a long time,” he said. “It doesn’t happen very often.”

He’d like to build on the momentum and reach full occupancy there as soon as possible.

“My job,” he said, “is to keep my foot on the gas.”

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