Council member Pat Kernighan reports today that the Out of the Closet thrift store “has decided to drop its pursuit of the GapKids space on Lakeshore Avenue.” Kernighan believes that Out of the Closet was unable to reach agreement on all issues with the owners of the building.

Kernighan said that Steve Banker of LCB Associates, the broker for the owners of the GapKids space, is actively pursing other businesses. Their focus is on stores, rather than restaurants, because a restaurant would require a time-consuming process to obtain the necessary Conditional Use Permit, Kernighan explained. Dividing the space into two, to allow for two smaller stores, is also a possibility.

Council member Kernighan described the situation as an opportunity for the community and will convene a meeting for a community discussion:

Community members have an opportunity here to help recruit desired retailers to the empty location. I welcome people taking the initiative to contact stores in other areas or cities that you would like to bring to Lakeshore and encourage them to contact Steve Banker to see the location. I also invite all residents to gather… to discuss creation of a more long-term community planning effort for the neighborhood commercial areas in District 2, including Lakeshore.

The meeting, open to the public, will be held at 2 PM on Sunday, March 2nd, in the Family Room of the Lakeshore Avenue Baptist Church, 3534 Lakeshore Avenue (at Mandana Blvd.) [map]. (The Family Room is inside the main building of the church—not in Barnett Hall, where several other community meetings convened by council member Kernighan have been held.)

[Editor’s note: For background on the vacancies in the business district in general, the GapKids vacancy in particular, and Out of the Closet’s bid for that space see “Retail vacancies pose opportunity for community input” and “Pat Kernighan: Out of the Closet and the GapKids space.”]