A decade after it left the Duke City, Stein Mart may be coming back.
A spokeswoman for the national retailer told the Journal on Thursday that Stein Mart is currently negotiating a lease for space at the Sierra Vista Shopping Center in the Northeast Heights.
If the lease is signed, the new store could open this fall, she said. It would be approximately 32,000 square feet and employ 45 people.
Stein Mart is no stranger to Albuquerque. The discount retailer of clothing, accessories, shoes and housewares arrived in town in 1998, opening stores at Cottonwood Corners and the Wyoming Mall.
But the company shuttered both locations in 2004 as part of a larger wave of closures.
That’s because they were underperforming, said Linda Tasseff, the company’s director of investor relations. But Stein Mart is looking to give Albuquerque another try in a new spot.
“We try to locate stores where our potential customer lives and shops. We believe that this particular location is a good fit for us,” Tasseff said in an email.
The Jacksonville, Fla.-based chain currently has more than 260 locations in 29 states, according to its website.
As we reported earlier this week, the Sierra Vista Shopping Center is undergoing significant changes. The center at Montgomery and Eubank recently was sold and is slated for redevelopment.
It has ample space to fill. Kmart left its 84,000-square-foot space in September, and the new owner, Columbus Pacific Properties, plans to expand the building by 33,000 square feet.
CBRE brokers Jim Dountas, Lia Armstrong and Jeremy Nelson are handling the leasing.