By DAVID SCHOLZ
MARTINEZ, Calif. – After seeing the Virginia Hills Shopping Center space formerly occupied by Round Table Pizza sit vacant for several years, Cordoza Properties Inc. is now investing $400,000 to reconfigure the space in hopes smaller spaces will spark renewed interest from prospective tenants.
The 5,000 square foot space at the western edge of the Alhambra Avenue shopping center is being broken up into four smaller spaces – two 1,200-square-foot spaces, and two 600-square-foot spaces, according to Lou Lopez, a senior property manager with the firm.
Lopez said the idea is to have a common hallway in the new design that would lead to the two smaller suites in the rear of the property. There will be a brand new set of bathrooms as part of the improvements, too.
The existing courtyard area that fronted the former Round Table Pizza operation is being maintained for a nice patio area.
“This is a nice amenity for sitting if there was a smaller restaurant,’’ said Lopez, acknowledging the hope that a restaurant tenant may yet find this space desirable in the shopping center.
Lopez suggested the smaller suites in the reconfiguration may be attractive to a smaller accounting firm, for example, that does not need the retail visibility but would still like the smaller commercial space. He is optimistic about this strategy based on what he has seen at a nearby commercial space that serves few professional tenants.
The effort on the western edge follows Cordoza’s successful efforts to fill another long-standing vacant space in the shopping center. Last fall, Ava Dental Group signed a five-year lease on the former home of a video rental store that occupied a small space between the Safeway store and the Starbucks location.
Lopez said the new dentist operation is pretty close to opening its doors and that may happen in the next four to six weeks.