Former Video Stores Become New Businesses
TRAVERSE CITY — A national pizza franchise is the latest business to get a slice of the former Family Video buildings.
Marco’s Pizza signed a lease with Highland Ventures, Ltd. to lease a portion of the former Family Video store at 916 U.S. 31.
Highland Ventures, Ltd. was the parent company for Family Video, which announced in early 2021 it was closing all of its 250 locations, including two in Traverse City.
Family Video once had as many as 800 stores and operated about 80 locations in Michigan when it ceased operations.
A mid-March opening is planned for Marco’s Pizza.
“It’s under construction right now,” Jason Yuhasz, regional director of leasing and property management for Highland Ventures, Ltd., said Tuesday afternoon. “I was up there a couple of weeks ago and they were putting the (range) hoods in.”
The lease was one of 220 that Highland Ventures, Ltd. signed in 2021, Yuhasz said.
“We’re filling them,” Yuhasz said. “As a company, we’re writing three to six leases a week. The buildings are filling fast. We’ve picked A+ real estate and they’re leasing well.”
Yuhasz said Marco’s Pizza is leasing about 1,500 square feet of the 7,000-square-foot property just north of Chum’s Corner. He said the company’s willingness to divide or create suites for the former Family Video locations has helped spur the activity.
Two former Family Video locations in Grand Haven and Flushing, each a similar size to the Chum’s Corner building, were turned into four different business suites, Yuhasz said.
“Seven thousand square feet is not really a sweet spot for most businesses,” he said. “They’re looking for the 1,500 to 3,000 square foot range.”
The lease for Marco’s Pizza was brokered by Marty Stevenson, commercial Realtor with Exit Realty Paramount.
Highland Ventures Ltd. CEO Keith Hoogland announced all Family Video stores were closing after 42 years in a Jan. 5, 2021 letter posted online and addressed “to our employees and customers.”
But even before the closure, Family Video began leasing building space to tenants. In a March 2018 Record-Eagle article discussing Silver Spruce Brewing moving into a portion of the Family Video location at 439 E. Eighth St., Yuhasz said many different companies had moved in to share space at the company’s various locations.
Family Video eventually closed its Traverse City Eighth Street location at the end of the February 2020. Silver Spruce Brewing, which had occupied half the building, expanded to take over the space.
Family Video’s 1288 W. South Airport Road location is home to two restaurant tenants, Jimmy John’s and QDOBA Mexican Eats. After liquidating its inventory in the spring of 2021, the former Family Video space between the two restaurants is still vacant.
“We have some people looking, but nothing yet,” Yuhasz said.
Another former Family Video location, on East Grand Traverse Bay at 2322 N. U.S. 31 North, became a Traverse Catholic Federal Credit Union in the fall of 2017. But that since closed.
“Due to traffic volume, operations at our East Bay branch have discontinued permanently,” the TCFCU website said. “We have appreciated your patronage and look forward to seeing you at our other branches in Traverse City, Lake Leelanau and Interlochen.”