Phydeaux, the locally owned pet store chain, is moving its Raleigh store from Seaboard Station after being unable to come to terms on a new lease with the retail center’s owner, William Peace University.
Last week, Phydeaux owner Frank Papa paid $1.48 million for the Briggs Hardware building at the corner of Atlantic Avenue and Six Forks Road. Briggs, one of the city’s oldest businesses, having first opened in downtown Raleigh in 1874, is closing in July.
Phydeaux, which also has stores in Cary and Chapel Hill, plans to reopen in its new location in September, Papa said. Phydeaux had options to extend its original Seaboard lease for two additional 5-year terms, but the store was in default of non-financial terms of the lease.
Phydeaux was instead offered a 2-year lease with no guarantee of an extension, which Papa said “was not something I could work with.”
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William Peace paid $20.75 million for Seaboard Station in October 2013. At the time, the university’s acquisition of the property raised concerns among some tenants and neighbors that it would eventually move to close the center and use the adjacent land for other needs.
William Peace hired Raleigh-based TradeMark Properties to manage the center. Billie Redmond, TradeMark’s founder, said the university continues to view Seaboard as a long-term investment.
“They’re not planning to build dorms there, they’re not putting in a baseball field,” she said. “Nothing is for sale.”
Seaboard’s 92,000 square foot of space is now 100 percent leased. Only one other tenant, the restaurant 18 Seaboard, has had its lease expire since William Peace bought the property.
However, 18 Seaboard signed a new 10-year lease last summer, and owner Jason Smith said he’s been very happy with the way the center has been managed since the change in ownership.
“They’re doing eight or nine things that were not done at all by the previous owner,” he said.
Redmond said TradeMark is in discussions with possible tenants to take Phydeaux’s 18,000-square-foot space.
“Phydeaux’s a great operation, a really nice draw for that demographic and he’ll do well wherever he goes,” Redmond said of Papa. “We wish him the very best.”
Papa said he views the area along Atlantic Avenue as ripe for future redevelopment. A number of new apartment communities have been built in the area, and several breweries opened nearby during the past 18 months.
“I foresee Atlantic becoming the next area inside the Beltline that’s really built out and becomes a nice mixed-use hub,” Papa said. “ ... We’re excited, we think it’s going to be easier for people to access.”
As for Briggs Hardware, Evelyn Murray, who owns the business along with her brother Marc Scruggs, said it no longer made financial sense to stay open.
“We tried to cut back as far as we could but unfortunately we had no choice but to close,” she said.
Murray and Scruggs are the sixth generation of the Briggs family to run the hardware store. Murray said that when the recession hit, a number of homebuilders who had large accounts with the store went out of business.
“We were left with bills of tens of thousands of dollars,” she said. “So it was just that, and the recession; it was tough to climb back.”
Briggs Hardware plans to stay open until about July 10 with all items half-price until then. An auction of whatever is left is scheduled for July 25.