Toys 'R' Us-owned stores could be fertile ground for redevelopment

Posted on March 16, 2018

  • Retail experts foresee little difficulty locally filling up former Toys “R” Us, Babies “R” Us stores
  • Half of the region’s 14 locations are owned by landlords; the others are owned by Toys “R” Us Inc.
  • Retailer announced Thursday it would liquidate its American stores

Wayne, N.J.-based Toys “R” Us Inc. announced Thursday that it would be closing all of its iconic toy stores, plus its Babies “R” Us stores, across the United States, leaving American landlords in the lurch.

The company, which has more than $5 billion in debt, locally owns half of its 14 stores in Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties, according to property records and Washington, D.C.-based real estate information service CoStar Group Inc. That could mean ripe pickings for local real estate investors looking to get property on the cheap, although exactly how cheap is not known.

The appetite for the Toys “R” Us-owned properties — located in Livonia, Pontiac, Southgate, Sterling Heights, Westland, Madison Heights and Northville — will likely be contingent upon whether there are ground leases on them, said Alan Stern, vice president of brokerage services for Farmington Hills-based Friedman Integrated Real Estate Solutions LLC.

“Those are a little more difficult to do a purchase transaction on because you’re also negotiating with the individual who owns the land,” not just Toys “R” Us, he said. “It’s just another layer of hair that’s on it than just a traditional deal.”


Continue reading full article on Crain’s Detroit Business.