Hobby Lobby opening stores in old Toys R Us buildings, including one in Hurst

Close to two years after Toys R Us shuttered all its stores, Hobby Lobby is making a real estate play to move into their old locations.

In Tarrant County, that means there’s going to be a new Hobby Lobby store in Hurst, at 1319 W. Pipeline Road, in the same location that a Toys R Us used to occupy. Steve Bowden, executive director of economic development in Hurst, said the city was excited that Hobby Lobby was joining its booming retail environment.

In addition to the new Hurst location, Hobby Lobby has been making moves into old Toys R Us locations in Atlanta; Knoxville, Tennessee; and the Sacramento area. According to the Wall Street Journal, Hobby Lobby began aggressively buying up old Toys R Us locations last year after the toy store announced bankruptcy.

A likely reason is because of the square footage of the abandoned properties. Many of the Toys R Us standalone stores were about 35,000 square feet, and Hobby Lobby needs that kind of space, especially in areas where they don’t already have stores. In northeast Tarrant County, the nearest Hobby Lobby to Hurst is in North Richland Hills.

Scott Nelson, the real estate director for Hobby Lobby, said the company is actively looking for locations across the country to find the necessary square footage in areas they don’t already have a store.

“The Toys R Us disposition allowed us to enter 12 markets we otherwise wouldn’t have been able to,” he said in an email.

Nelson said a date for the Hurst opening hasn’t been set, but will likely be by March 2020.

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This story was originally published October 16, 2019 1:56 PM.

Carla Jimenez covers breaking business news and commercial retail development. Born and raised in Euless, she took a detour in the Midwest for a few years, but she’s back in the land of football, barbecue and Dr Pepper.
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