Michaels to open store in former Best building
Dallas-based retailer leases part of North Side building; interior renovation plannedJanuary 15th, 1998
Michaels Stores Inc., a big Dallas-based retailer of arts, crafts, and home-decor items, plans to open a second Spokane-area store, this one in the former Best Products Co. building on North Division.
Michaels has leased about 25,300 square feet of floor space in the northern end of that vacant, 70,000-square-foot building, located in the Northgate Shopping Center, at 7630 N. Division, and is scheduled to open its store there in June or July after the space is remodeled, says Douglas B. Sullivan, an executive vice president with Michaels in Dallas.
Jim Schloemer, owner and president of Continental Properties Inc., a Milwaukee company thats part owner of Continental 80 Fund LLC, which owns the building, says the structure will be divided into two sections, one that will be used by Michaels and the other that will be taken by a second user.
He says negotiations are under way with two prospective tenants, one of which almost certainly will take the second, roughly 45,000-square-foot space in the building. He declines to identify the two potential users of that space. It has been rumored that Hastings Entertainment Inc., an Amarillo, Texas-based video, book, and music retailer, also would move into the former Best building, but Schloemer wouldnt confirm that. Hastings operates a nearby store at 7304 N. Division, but has limited parking at that location.
Continental 80 Fund bought the North Side Best building for $2.7 million from Virginia-based Best Products Co. nearly a year ago. Schloemer says the interior of the building will be completely remodeled before Michaels moves in, and the front entrance also will get a new look. Vandervert Construction Inc., of Spokane, is the general contractor for the renovation project.
Michaels currently operates a store in East Spokane, in the Chimney Rock Park, at 3200 E. Trent. Two years ago, the company considered opening a store in the Spokane Valley near the southeast corner of Sprague Avenue and Evergreen Road, but those plans never materialized. Sullivan, the Michaels vice president, says the Dallas company is looking for another store site in the Valley. He says the company has evaluated some properties, but declines to disclose where those sites are located. If the company can find a suitable location in the Valley, it would either move its current Chimney Rock outlet there or open a third Spokane-area outlet, Sullivan says.
The Chimney Rock store has about 22,000 square feet of floor space and employs about 25 people. The new outlet on North Division would employ between 20 and 30 people, Sullivan says.
Michaels operates 454 stores in 45 states, Canada, and Puerto Rico. In addition to arts and crafts items, Michaels outlets typically offer picture-framing materials and services; silk and dried flowers; hobby and art supplies; and party, seasonal, and holiday merchandise. They also offer in-store classes and demonstrations of arts and craft methods.