The Inverness Regional Shopping Center on U.S. 41 is poised to get a major new national chain to take over the old Publix space, the center's leasors said Monday.
Jill Strumpf, president of Bruce Strumpf Inc., said she could not reveal the retailer’s name, but that the reveal could happen in the next month or so.
The Strumpf property management group took over the leasing reins of the struggling shopping center last year. The plaza also got a new owner, who said he was committed to returning the once-vibrant plaza to respectability.
“I think (the plaza) will come back,” Strumpf said. “Our rents are very reasonable.”
Two tenants have already signed up to fill a couple spots: Kana Nails opened recently and Strumpf said she has signed another new tenant called Do or Dye Hair Collective to take over a 4,500-square-foot spot.
“We’re geared toward local tenants — mom-and-pops — and we are very happy to lease space to them,” Strumpf said.
Inverness City Manager Frank DiGiovanni said he’s heard rumors of a chain coming to the empty Publix spot, but nothing definite.
DiGiovanni said a sporting goods store would fit into the outdoor motif of Inverness. Also needed, he said, is an all-purpose store that sells clothing for the whole family, along with household goods, patio and lawn equipment.
But he welcomes any type of retailer, especially if it leads to plaza revitalization.
“Any potential investment, whether it’s in an existing building or people want to construct new, is good news,” he said. “It will create more activity in that area and bring more focus to the shopping center.”
At one time, Inverness Regional Shopping Center was a vibrant plaza, anchored by Publix and Kmart.
Kmart, which had been struggling nationwide, closed the location in 2016. Publix moved to a nearby site off State Road 44 in 2013. The plaza had been down to five tenants, with the largest being Bealls Outlet.
Last year, Andrew Podray became the new owner of the plaza. Podray owns American Housing Enterprises, a real estate holding company in Boynton Beach that specializes in distressed multifamily, retail and office properties.
Podray said he was committed to filling up the empty storefronts with retailers, but cautioned it would be a long-term project.
Strumpf said Monday there have been roofing improvements done on the storefronts.