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The national news that Bed Bath & Beyond will be going bankrupt means there will be a lot of space to fill in Southwest Florida when those stores close.  

There are five Bed Bath & Beyond stores across the region, with locations in Port Charlotte, Cape Coral, Fort Myers and two in North Naples. Those combine for 153,284 square feet, with the average size a little more than 30,000 square feet, such as the one at Bell Tower shopping center in south Fort Myers.  

Jim Shiebler, a broker and senior vice president of investments with Marcus & Millichap brokerage firm, urged not to become too caught up in the doom and gloom of these stores shuttering. The brand’s business model collapsed because of e-commerce and changing shopping trends, he said.  

Although the stores will be closing, opportunities will present themselves for other users to find success inside the same real estate, Shiebler said.  

“Virtually all Bed Bath & Beyond locations are very well situated and ideally located,” he said. “There will be a litany of different suitors that are vying for the spaces.  

“A new, vibrant, highly credit rated tenant will bring traffic, and synergy and cross-pollination, meaning that someone who shops will come to Bell Tower, for example, to shop at multiple locations in one shopping trip.”  

Each store’s location will play a role in determining the next user for the space, he said.  

Shiebler said there would be a number of potential future users, depending on the location.  

“It’s really going to be a variety of different uses, depending upon what the void is in that particular market,” Shiebler said. “It could be a traditional brick-and-mortar retail. It could be experiential, like a trampoline park or a large restaurant concept.”  

The Bell Tower location in south Fort Myers means that space will be empty as well as the adjacent, vacant and former TGI Friday’s restaurant. But across the parking lot, a vacant building that had housed Mimi’s Cafe is slated to be demolished, with a Capitol Grille planned to take its place.  

That restaurant would help spur more redevelopment at the shopping center, which has an average daily traffic count of more than 100,000 vehicles per day, Shiebler said.  

“The Bell Tower, the south quadrant, if you will, is really due for a revitalization,” he said. “And this is actually a really great opportunity, once the dust settles, to have a burgeoning, vibrant tenant that’s thriving. That brings customers. That combined with the new Capitol Grille that will be the old, former Mimi’s Cafe, will also bring in traffic and cross-pollination to make the old TGI Friday’s very desirable as well. So really, it’s the phoenix [that’s] going to rise from the ashes, and I expect it to have a significant rebound.” 

Southwest Florida Bed Bath & Beyond locations 

Cape Coral: 1827 NE Pine Island Road (27,978 square feet)  

Fort Myers: 13499 S. Cleveland Ave. (30,587 square feet)  

North Naples: 5351 N. Airport Road (44,777 square feet)  

North Naples: 13585 Tamiami Trail, Unit 6 (25,002 square feet) 

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