Investors have begun picking off the Richmond-area remnants of Geoffrey the Giraffe’s fallen empire.
The vacant Babies ‘R’ Us building at 1285 Carmia Way in the Chesterfield Marketplace shopping center sold last week at a court-ordered auction for $600,000.
The sale was the first of Toys ‘R’ Us’ local assets to be sold as part of the national retailer’s bankruptcy liquidation, which was filed in Richmond federal court 10 months ago. In late June, the company closed all of its Toys ‘R’ Us and Babies ‘R’ Us stores.
The buyer of the 17,400-square-foot Midlothian box was Florida-based Legacy Commercial Group. Principal Ajay Dhawan said they’re not sure yet what they’ll do with the property.
“We’re not a big player. It was a good value and hopefully it’ll be a good decision,” Dhawan said, adding they have no immediate plans to raze or redevelop the space.
Legacy instead will wait to see what happens with the larger, adjoining Toys ‘R’ Us building, which was not part of last week’s auction.
“Maybe if a good tenant gets that property, then our adjacent property will be worth more one day,” Dhawan said. “We’ll have to wait to see what happens with that, then things will become more clear.”
Other parts of Chesterfield Marketplace changed hands in recent months, when a bulk of the shopping center was purchased by New York firm in a $12 million deal.
Toys ‘R’ Us is working with Long Island, New York-based A&G Realty Partners to sell off many of its empty store buildings as it continues to liquidate its assets and try to pay off creditors.
A&G Managing Director Todd Eyler said the adjacent Toys ‘R’ Us building at 1257 Carmia Way is not yet available for sale. He said Toys ‘R’ Us bondholders will decide whether to put it up for auction.
Last week A&G also auctioned off about 10 other Toys ‘R’ Us stores throughout Mid-Atlantic, Southeast, Northeast and Midwest.
The chain’s other Richmond region store was a Toys ‘R’ Us/Babies ‘R’ Us combo store at The Corner at Short Pump, which also closed last month. That property is owned by local development firm Rebkee, which could not be reached for comment regarding the future of that space.
Toys ‘R’ Us is represented locally in the bankruptcy by Kutak Rock attorneys Peter Barrett, Jeremy Williams and Michael Condyles.