Lafayette, IN - Vacant for four years, things are finally buzzing again in a large anchor location at Market Square shopping center in Lafayette.
After occupying space in Eastway Plaza, Raven's Roost Antiques is moving its consignment business of antique, vintage and collectible items into the former Stein Mart store. It will open there on July 5.
"We basically outgrew the (current) location. We couldn't grow and bring in people on the waiting list," said Tammie Williams, Raven's Roost Antiques owner. "We're expanding our line of products. We'll have more variety and be open longer hours."
Raven's Roost will use part of the building to conduct auction sales and rent the space to auctioneers.
Citing an inability to meet "expectations for profitability," Stein Mart closed its store at Market Square in mid-2006 -- 10 years after it opened.
"It's been one of those 'black holes' we've been trying to fill," said Jennie Kirby of Kirby Realty, who handled the leasing of the nearly 50,000 square feet of retail space to Raven's Roost. "We think it will be a great draw. It's going to be kind of neat to see the kind of traffic they will get on the city's north end."
With the economy showing some improvement, Raven's Roost is the latest merchant to occupy previously vacant space at Market Square.
Last fall, Pro Resources Staffing Services, an employment services company; Snapperz Family Fun & Sports, an indoor fun and party center; and Cattails to Roses by Eve, a flower shop, opened in Market Square.
"We're 92 percent occupied. We're constantly talking to people," said Kirby, who recently was involved in renewing the lease of nearly 7,300 square feet at the shopping center for Arni's Restaurant.
Williams opened Raven's Roost Antiques a year ago in Eastway Plaza, after a history of buying and selling antiques on a private basis.
"We've done really well in our current space and will miss that. But we need to meet the demand of what we're getting, with calls and consignments daily," said Williams.
"We do turn over a lot of antique furniture. People are looking for good quality wood products."
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