Spokane Journal of Business

Old Factory Outlets spaces to fill up in Post Falls

Large amounts of space absorbed in buildings that had been mostly vacant

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-The Post Falls Factory Stores, which had two tenants late last year, is expected to be up to 70 percent full this spring.
—Samantha Peone

The former Post Falls Factory Outlets complex and the neighboring Post Falls Factory Stores building, both of which have been mostly vacant for roughly a decade, will be mostly occupied by the end of the year, current owners say. 

“I think it’s going to be a nice, stable business center for the community,” says Thomas Tedder, CEO of Tedder Properties LLC, which owns the two-building, 180,000-square-foot Factory Outlets complex, now named the Tedder Business Center. That complex is located along Riverbend Avenue and fronts on Interstate 90, about two miles east of the Washington-Idaho state line. 

Just east of that complex is the separately owned 62,000-square-foot Post Falls Factory Stores building. That property was purchased last November by PF Properties LLC, says Bill Robinette, broker with Hayden Lake-based Select Properties LLC, who handled the transaction and is marketing the space for lease. 

The building currently has about six tenants, and the majority of that space is expected to be leased out by March or April, he says. When the new owner purchased the property, only two tenants—Cabin Restaurant and Northwest Title Loans-—occupied space there, he says.

Tedder Properties purchased the former Post Falls Factory Outlets and renamed them the Tedder Business Center about two years ago, says Tedder.

The southernmost building at 4411 S. Riverbend is roughly 70,000 square feet, says Tedder. Tedder Industries Inc., which manufactures gun holsters and belts and primarily sells its products online, leases that entire structure, he says.

The second building has 110,000 square feet and contains a variety of tenants, he says.

One of those tenants is escape-room business 59 Escape Adventures LLC.

When husband and wife Eric and Alicia Zaas opened 59 Escape Adventures in the Tedder Business Center about 15 months ago, many updates had yet to happen.

“When we originally talked about opening a business, we decided we wanted to be in Post Falls and even talked about this place, but we didn’t know anything about it at the time,” says Eric Zaas. A week later, the news was out that that Tedder Properties had purchased the Post Falls Factory Outlets property.

59 Escape Adventures occupies about 4,000 square feet and currently offers three escape room options for groups of up to 13 people to solve clues to escape the room, although the door isn’t locked, she says. The escape rooms are geared for both children and adults.

Since moving in, the building received new roofing, repainting, new carpet, an updated sprinkler system, and HVAC systems, Eric Zaas says. An increase in foot traffic has followed with the improvements and an increase in the number of tenants, he says. 

Alicia Zaas says the couple opened 59 Escape Adventures in the Tedder Business Center for a few reasons, including plenty of parking and the ease of access from Interstate 90 and Coeur d’Alene.

The location also is within a projected growth area, she says.

Tedder estimates Tedder Properties has invested more than $3 million into building improvements at the mall.

Debbie Hiatt, property manager for Tedder Properties, says that before that company purchased the buildings, only two tenants—a Hanesbrand Inc. affiliate and Oriental Gifts & Food—occupied retail bays.

Now, 45 of the 55 units in the Tedder Business Center are occupied, says Hiatt, with some tenants occupying more than one unit.

In addition to Tedder Industries and 59 Escape Adventures, tenants there include ACE Industrial Supply; Artisan Leather LLC, which does business as Foxy Fix; Costume Place Inc.; 3 Ops Tactical LLC: My Big Fat Greek Deli; Scarlett’s Golf Experience; Wilderness Survival Store LLC; The Johnson Group; Knowhere Games & Comics; and Woodshop Products LLC.

Tedder attributes several possible reasons for the center’s sudden spur of growth.

“You know, the state of it wasn’t very pretty to look at,” he says. “It looks a lot nicer now … we have put a lot of work and money into it and made it look nice, like somewhere you’d want to do business.” 

He also lists his lease rates as another reason for leasing activity.

For the first year, Tedder says, tenants pay a monthly lease rate of 35 cents per square foot, which then raises to 50 cents per square foot in following years.

One more factor is simply that Tedder Industries took up an entire building. Additionally, employee cars were in the parking lot, making the buildings seem more lively and attractive, he says.

The Post Falls Factory Stores complex is just east of the Tedder Business Center. Specifically, the U-shaped building is on the south side of Riverbend Avenue between Clearwater Loop and South Pleasant View Road.

Post Falls Factory Stores’ name will be changed, but the new name hasn’t been determined yet, he says.

As of Jan. 25, a handful of leases were pending, and Robinette says he expects 65 to 70 percent to be leased by March or April, he says.

The building can be divided into 15 retail spaces. Interior walls are “demising walls,” meaning they can be removed or reconfigured to fit tenant needs, he says.

Robinette says Post Falls Factory Stores can configure spaces as small as about 2,000 square feet or as large as 20,000 square feet.

Depending on a variety of factors, such as the amount of space desired, lease duration, and the required amount of tenant improvements, monthly lease rates vary between roughly 40 cents to $1 per square foot.

Exterior renovations for the property are expected to take place later this year, and interior tenant improvements are tackled with each individual lease, he says.

Robinette says the recent activity surrounding the Tedder Business Center and Post Falls Factory Stores tell of regional economic health. 

“I think it’s indicative of the North Idaho economy that there’s confidence in not only the area but the buildings themselves,” he says. “To have over 200,000 square feet of formerly vacant space get purchased and repurposed and rented, I think is very positive for the area going forward,” he says.

Tedder Industries employs about 250 people and does its own marketing, online sales, design work, and manufacturing. The company has an injection molding facility and other operations in the Tedder Business Center, he says.

Samantha Peone
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