What could go where Staples is leaving? | SteamboatToday.com

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What could go where Staples is leaving?

— When Loui Antonucci put on his thinking cap this past weekend about what could take over his commercial space once Staples leaves, Trader Joe's came to mind.

That's not to say there's even an inkling at this point that the grocer would consider Steamboat, but it's an interesting prospect.

Staples will close its doors in Steamboat Springs on May 17.

It will have about another three weeks of packing to do before it's entirely moved out, but by mid-June, the commercial real estate at Pine Grove Road and Mid Valley Drive will be empty and in need of a tenant.

It offers about 15,300 square feet of space with on-site parking and convenient access right off U.S. Highway 40. Antonucci said splitting up the space is an option, but its size also places it in a range with few counterparts. City ordinances now require any proposed commercial spaces larger than 12,000 square feet to go through the planned unit development process to create a custom zone district.

It's far too early to say with any certainty what might fill the space, but it's always nice to dream.

We'd love to see a local business seize the opportunity and grow into the space, but we don't want to single one out. So we'll look at national brands.

Based on a retailer and restaurant expansion guide from 2013, there are a number of different businesses that are adding locations across the nation.

The guide lists the typical minimum and maximum square feet the business occupies and some notes about its preferred expansion characteristics.

With hundreds of brands and chains on the list, the possibilities can appear endless, but considerations such as existing supply chains, the size of our local population and our spending habits are just a few of the challenges to any potential business looking to move in.

Taking all that into consideration, here are a few of the more interesting possibilities:

• Trader Joe's* (grocer): 8,000 to 12,000 square feet

• Sprouts* (grocer): average 27,500 square feet

• Old Navy (apparel): 15,000 to 19,000 square feet

• Aldi (grocer): 10,000 to 18,000 square feet

• Alamo Drafthouse (entertainment): 20,000 to 40,000 square feet

• Pier 1 Imports (home furnishings): 9,000 to 10,000 square feet

• Ethan Allen (home furnishings): 10,000 to 15,000 square feet

• Crate and Barrel (home furnishings): 10,000 to 31,000 square feet

• 24 Hour Fitness (fitness): 15,000 to 22,000 square feet

• Jo-Ann Super Stores (arts and crafts): 14,000 to 36,000 square feet

*These aren't in the expansion guide, but we couldn't help ourselves.

Here's the guide. Feel free to add your thoughts and wish list in the comments. Keep in mind the size of the space for argument's sake.