A lot once occupied by a car dealership is turning out to be a desired location for retailers weeks before the structure is completed. Photo by Chris Conetzkey
A lot once occupied by a car dealership is turning out to be a desired location for retailers weeks before the structure is completed. Photo by Chris Conetzkey

The shell is a couple of weeks from being finished at an Ingersoll Avenue retail building, but tenants and potential tenants are lining up to call the place home.

Jake Christensen is the lead developer of the 9,289-square-foot building at 2105 Ingersoll Ave. So far, four of the building’s five retail spaces have been leased, and Christensen is looking for the right fit for the fifth. He isn’t hurting for prospective tenants.

“I have turned away letters of intent,” he said.

The four signed tenants are Noodle’s & Company Inc., Qdoba Mexican Grill, T-Mobile USA Inc. and Menchie’s Frozen Yogurt. Christensen said a 1,347-square-foot bay is available.

Christensen has been involved in the renovation of several prime downtown properties in recent years. Many of those have involved a mix of commercial and residential uses. This is his first foray into an all-retail property.

The site was the former home of Stew Hansen Dodge. Its location near the intersection of Ingersoll and Martin Luther King Jr. Parkway has been key to a positive leasing experience, similar to the good fortunes of other developers who have picked prime locations, Christensen said.

The property was purchased March 28 from Hansen’s LJH Land LLC for $525,000. Total project cost will be $2.6 million.

Beal Derkenne Construction LLC is the lead contractor and GE Wattier Architecture Inc. is the designer.

Michael Derkenne, co-owner of the construction company, said the structure differs from many other retail buildings because of the quality of materials – stone slabs, steel and windows – used in its construction.

“It’s a higher quality product than your typical retail building,” he said.

The building is set up to the street with extra-wide sidewalks, upgraded streetscaping and lighting, and outdoor seating that will be located at both ends of the building as well as on both sides of Menchie’s, Christensen said.

Christensen said patience pays off when looking for development sites along Ingersoll.

“I’m eying a couple of pieces, but they’re rare,” he said. “It could be five years from now, seven years from now before the pieces I’m watching become available.”