By LAURA QUEZADA News Review Staff Writer
The News Review wondered how the beautiful pool inside the former In-Shape facility was faring, knowing that empty pools can have structural problems. The good news, it has water in it. Right now, it is pretty dirty, but that can be easily remedied.
Deborah Collins of The Collins Company represents the sellers of the facility. She tells us, “My client is the owner of this building. This is a 34,000-square-foot building on a three-acre parcel located on a portion of Heritage Plaza Shopping Center.
“My client was leasing to the corporation In-Shape Fitness. Unfortunately, when COVID hit, they got into trouble and defaulted on the lease. My clients are sitting there owning this property without having income now. In-Shape did not remove their signage, they didn’t remove their graphics, and it has made it difficult for my client to find a viable tenant.
“We are looking for gym replacements. It would be wonderful if we could keep another gym there since the pool is so perfect, the Jacuzzi is so inviting, and it wouldn’t take much to get this property back In-Shape for a gym. It makes a lot of sense. Unfortunately, Ridgecrest is so remote; it’s two hours from a location that has the type of demographics that national companies look for. They only have so many dollars to do new stores per year, and we are way down on the list because we don’t have the population. What shows under the demographics is around 30,000. However, you and I know there are so many more people that this locale is pulling from, but it’s hard to justify that to a national tenant. They only look at the black and white of the demographics. That includes the population. So that’s what I’m up against. We are trying. We are reaching out to every gym and telling them why this would be a great place for them to put a new store.
“It’s also a perfect grocery location. And if a grocery went in, they would need to demolish the pool, and that would be sad because it has a good life. It’s really good news that Ross and Five Below are coming because that brings a lot of other tenants. When Ross comes, the other soft goods retailers want to jump on board. Other tenants we are seeking are grocery, fitness, and lifestyle users such as BevMo! and Total Wine & More, family entertainment, and drug store/pharmacy, in addition to medical uses.
“We will continue to sell the fact that Ridgecrest has many more residents than what shows on the demographics.
“The Collins Company Commercial Real Estate has been in business since 1995,” she says. “We represent national tenants and landlords. I moved here in 2020 when COVID hit, I was based in Ventura County, and I felt that I needed to get somewhere safe. I have horses and dogs and just wanted to get to a more affordable place, not knowing what the future held.
“I represented the buyer of the Marshalls/ Joann/Famous Footwear building. I represent the ownership of the Kmart Center and, of course, this In-Shape building.
“I now have a home office in Ridgecrest and maintain my other office in Los Angeles and represent buyers and sellers all across the country. On a consulting-type basis, help clients with lease renewals, reach out to landlords, help renegotiate renewals, and any real estate needs clients might have. My number is 818-917-5662.”