The owner of INspiration Furniture has put part of Pearlridge Center, Hawaii’s second-largest shopping mall, up for sale.
Thomas Sorensen is seeking buyers for the former J.C. Penney and INspiration Furniture complexes, known as Uptown II, which consists of about 135,000 square feet of retail space and has roughly 40 tenants, including about a half-dozen kiosks.
"Pearlridge is rather unique. It’s got a unique culture of its own with the Uptown and Downtown," said Carol Pregill, president of Retail Merchants of Hawaii. "It’s always done well. It’s just the major shopping center in that area."
The circa-1972 former J.C. Penney complex, anchored by Borders, is close to fully occupied, while negotiations are under way for a new tenant for the building previously occupied by INspiration. The furniture store moved out of its former flagship location at Pearlridge earlier this year when it consolidated operations to the $27 million Honolulu Design Center on Kapiolani Boulevard.
Sorensen said he is negotiating with mainland restaurant chains — some of which would be new to Hawaii — various retail operations and medical-related companies to fill the 25,000-square-foot former INspiration space by early next year.
Sorensen bought part of Uptown II, which runs from Borders to just past Farrell’s Ice Cream Parlour & Restaurant, in 2002 after J.C. Penney’s closed. He has since done extensive remodeling throughout the wing.
The company is opening a new concept, INspiration.Fun, within Uptown II at the end of the month. That store, measuring nearly 5,000 square feet, will carry merchandise targeting a younger demographic and all priced under $1,000.
"We’re primarily going to focus on furniture and some accessories," he said. "It will be colorful and fun."
Vision Express, an eye care center, opened last month in the wing, while Millennium, an accessories and clothing shop, will open this month.
Colliers Monroe Friedlander Inc. leases and manages Sorensen’s part of Pearlridge Uptown II, while MMI Realty Services Inc. handles the rest of Pearlridge.
Sorensen expects the offer memorandum, with no listed sales price, to generate much interest from bidders. Colliers is the listing agent.
The sale of Sorensen’s part of Pearlridge is separate from the near $250 million sales transaction of more than 1.1 million square feet at Pearlridge — known as Downtown and Uptown, anchored by Macy’s and Sears — to Blackstone Group LP of New York and Ohio-based Glimcher Realty Trust, which was reported earlier this year.
"When a shopping center’s up for sale, there’s a lot of apprehension with the tenants, but it seems that at least the sale of the major part of the shopping center seems to be done," Pregill said.