The Belknap Plaza is changing hands. Tim and Alan Jaques, whose family has owned the shopping center for 38 years, have sold it to Stack Investment Trust. The trust is owned by Bill Stack, who also owns Stack Bros. Mechanical of Superior.
"Bill and his family of employees will take it to the next level, and I think now that Belknap Street is opened up and doing great they'll do a phenomenal job," Alan Jaques said.
He said the family has had other offers to sell over the years, including some from China. They chose to go with Stack Investment Trust because it's local and has the resources to adapt storefronts to changing needs.
"Bill Stack and his family was a good fit," Jaques said.
Stack confirmed the purchase of the property, but said he had no immediate plans for the shopping center.
"I bought it on speculation," Stack said.
Currently, eight of the nine spaces in the Belknap Plaza are filled. The only shuttered storefront is the 22,000-square-foot grocery store, according to Jaques. He said Stack has the ability to change that up and add multiple tenants in the space, formerly a Super One Foods store.
When the standalone Subway Restaurant at 100 Belknap St. moves to a new building in January, it will create another empty spot at the plaza. The remaining tenants are expected to stay.
Jaques said he started mowing lawns and sweeping debris off the lot at the property in 10th grade.
"It's bittersweet, when you own something that long and you just can't figure out how to take it to the next level," he said. "I grew up here."
The internet, however, has had made a big impact on retail businesses.
"Typical tenants are not typical anymore," Jaques said.
The Jaques brothers aren't leaving. They will continue to operate Belknap Liquor and Lounge in the shopping center.
Whatever plans Stack has for the shopping center, Jaques stressed that it's still locally-owned and dollars spent there will recirculate in the area. Studies by the private research firm Civic Economics have shown that, on average, 48 percent of each purchase at local independent businesses was recirculated locally, compared to less than 14 percent of purchases at chain stores.
"It's still local," Jaques said. "Shop local."