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Developers search for Goodys replacement
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Developers of the Fort Howard Square are confident they can fill quickly the hole that will be left by Goody’s impending closing.

Rhodes Seeger of Blanchard and Calhoun Commercial real estate said he didn’t know when Goody’s final day of operation was. But he’s already looking for someone to step into the store once it’s vacant.

“We’ve started marketing it just in the last week or so,” he said. “We’ve got somebody looking at it. Hopefully we’ll get it turned around quickly once Goody’s closes.”

The local Goody’s has referred all questions about its closing to its corporate headquarters. Efforts to obtain comments from Goody’s representatives have been unsuccessful. The store is advertising its going-out-of-business sale and the doors could be closed for good in a few weeks.

“We really haven’t heard anything from Goody’s,” Seeger said.

Seeger and his firm, however, don’t want the storefront to remain idle for long.

“Our plan is to get somebody in there,” he said. “We’ve invested a lot in the town and the center. We’ll be able to get it back to 100 percent (leased).”

The current tenants, Seeger said, tell him they are doing well, even in the midst of a weak economy.

“We’re getting a lot of good responses from everybody,” he said. “It’s been good working with the city.”

Work on phase 2 is under way, and Seeger said plans include a Japanese steakhouse in the second phase. That will leave about 3,200 square feet in that phase to market.

Goody’s opened in November 2007 and was expected to be the anchor of the revitalized Fort Howard Square at the corner of Highway 21 and Fort Howard Road. The company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on June 9 and emerged from bankruptcy four months later.

The Goody’s chain, founded in 1952 and headquartered in Knoxville, Tenn., has 287 stores. The company was purchased by GMM Capital and Prentice Capital in 2006 and went from a publicly-traded company to a privately-held entity.

The Rincon store is 24,000 square feet and opened with about 75 employees.