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Next Realty Completes Backfilling Its Sports Authority Vacancies

Next Realty has now backfilled all five of its vacant Sports Authority sites, with Big Lots signing up to occupy 48,849 square feet at the defunct sporting goods chain’s Merrillville, IN location. The new lease relocates Big Lots from an end-cap position in the same shopping center, and paves the way for the opening of a “Store of the Future” prototype.

Amy Levin, director of leasing at Next, represented ownership. Big Lots, a tenant at the center since 2009, was represented in-house by the retailer’s Vince Cattano.

Next is currently marketing the 28,000 square feet that Big Lots will vacate in its end-cap space, which can be leased to a single tenant or subdivided. With the Merrillville lease signed, the landlord has now filled about 250,000 square feet left vacant by Sports Authority’s bankruptcy.


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About Paul Bubny

Paul Bubny serves as Senior Content Director for Connect Commercial Real Estate, a role to which he brings 13-plus years’ experience covering the commercial real estate industry and 30-plus years in business-to-business journalism. In this capacity, he oversees daily operations while also reporting on both local/regional markets and national trends, covering individual transactions across all property types, as well as delving into broader subject matter. He produces 15-20 daily news stories per day and works with the Connect team and clients to develop longer-form content, ranging from Q&As to thought-leadership pieces. Prior to joining Connect, Paul was Managing Editor for both Real Estate Forum and GlobeSt.com at American Lawyer Media, where he oversaw operations at both publications while also producing daily news and feature-length articles. His tenure in B2B publishing stretches back into the print era, and he has served as Editor in Chief on four national trade publications. Since 1999, Paul has volunteered as the newsletter editor of passenger rail advocacy groups (one national, one local).

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