St. Vincent sports practice to fill vacant Clay Terrace big box

Clay Terrace in Carmel will have a new tenant later this year to occupy the big box space originally filled by Circuit City.

But the newcomer isn't the sort of glitzy retailer the upscale outdoor mall is accustomed to attracting. It’s St. Vincent Sports Performance, which is opening a location to complement its original practice on the northwest side.

In the meantime, St. Vincent has closed its other sports performance location, on the east side, and is shutting its orthopedics practice on West Carmel Drive. It will combine those services at Clay Terrace.

St. Vincent will start with six employees, including two physicians, and hopes to have the 26,000 square feet of space occupied by early September, said Ralph Reiff, executive director of St. Vincent Sports Performance.

“Strategically, we made a decision that we wanted to have a more robust presence in Hamilton County,” he said.

Simon Property Group, one of the owners of the mall, mentioned the move in its marketing materials available at the annual convention of the International Council of Shopping Centers in Las Vegas.

The conference runs through Wednesday and attracts nearly 40,000 developers, brokers and retailers hoping to consummate as many deals as possible.

St. Vincent’s move to Clay Terrace received mostly positive reviews from local retail brokers, who say the sports practice will help draw traffic to the property.

“These lines are continuing to blur as retailers look for smaller spaces,” said Scot Courtney, president and director of retail services at the Indianapolis office of Lee & Associates. “It’s all about convenience for the consumer.”

Large retailers still need bricks-and-mortar space. But with the growing popularity of online shopping, the number of big-box store locations is shrinking. So landlords need to find alternate tenants to fill those big, empty storefronts—a void medical office users often fill, real estate experts say.

Clay Terrace opened in 2005. Circuit City—and the entire Circuit City chain—went out of business four years later, the victim of a weak economy and competition from such rivals as Best Buy and locally based HHGregg.

“Medical users are a great backfill for these vacant boxes, because there are fewer anchor tenants,” said Rebecca Wells, a broker at the local office of Jones Lang LaSalle.

Steve Delaney, a retail broker at Sitehawk Retail Real Estate, agreed but said the St. Vincent still might not be the best fit.

“It’s maybe not the ideal use,” he said, “but it’ll draw a lot of traffic.”
St. Vincent Sports Performance’s existing location is at 8227 Northwest Blvd. The offices is staffed by physicians, athletic trainers, physical therapists, strength-and-conditioning coaches, and sports dieticians.

The practice has built a solid reputation in the sports world through the years, providing services to amateur athletes and professionals, including NBA and NFL players.

Another benefit of the Clay Terrace location is that it is close to high schools in Zionsville, Carmel, Westfield and Sheridan. The practice provides certified athletic trainers to the schools on a contract basis, Reiff said.

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