Ross Dress for Less, Skechers, Metro Diner and more coming to shopping center

The former Kmart plaza in Port Charlotte is getting a slew of new retail tenants as it nears the end of a $23 million redevelopment.

Developer GBT Realty Corp. of Brentwood, Tennessee, announced this week that Ross Dress for Less, Skechers, Metro Diner, GNC, T-Mobile, Bento House and Essence Nail Salon are all officially coming to the Port Charlotte Marketplace shopping center, which is in the midst of a redevelopment. These tenants will join existing ones like HomeGoods and Burlington Coat Factory as well as Lucky’s Market, which was announced in the spring of 2018.

Metro Diner closed its Westfield Siesta Key restaurant in October, citing low sales and poor visibility. Crafton Bryant IV, director of marketing for Metro Diner, said that the Port Charlotte location will open in May, barring any delays.

“There is a lot of activity in the Port Charlotte market right now and Southwest Florida is one of the fastest growing areas in the country,” Bryant said. “We think we are the perfect fit for what the community wants, needs and deserves.”

The Port Charlotte building, which used to be a Kmart until the company left in 2017, was acquired by a division of GBT later that same year. At the time, the developer vowed to renovate and upgrade the former Kmart building and to add more square feet with new structures. GBT has added 58,000 additional square feet. It now stretches from Tamiami Trail to Quesada Avenue along Cochran Boulevard.

There’s still 11,000 available square feet, as well as an outparcel space. GBT is seeking household names in retail for those empty parcels, according to the company.

At this point, the center is 93 percent leased and the redevelopment will be finished over the summer.

More than 178,000 residents live within 10 miles of Port Charlotte Marketplace, GBT said. Every day, about 58,000 vehicles pass the retail center on Tamiami Trail, and nearly 16,000 pass it on Cochran Boulevard. The median household income in that 10-mile radius is $65,000.

“The demand for premium space along Tamiami Trail is insatiable, especially at value-oriented centers such as Port Charlotte Marketplace, where high visibility and strong traffic counts top the list of key selling points luring popular retail names,” said Jeff Pape, GBT’s managing director, shopping centers and diversified divisions.

Pape said he’s confident all of the tenants will do well in the shopping center.

“Our retail partners know that we’ll put them in the heart of a market’s commercial corridor,” he said.