Changing Christiana-Stanton retail area sees new restaurants and big box store closings

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While the closing of Toys R Us grabbed the headlines, the company’s lesser-known Babies R Us spinoff is also shutting down in a rapidlyevolving environment in a Christiana-Stanton area that will see at least three new restaurants.

Going out of business sales are continuing at the Christiana-Stanton area locations of both R Us stores.

Toys R Us is part of a strip center area on Geoffrey Drive across from the Stanton campus of Delaware Community Technical College. Geoffrey Drive is named after the Toys R Us giraffe mascot.

Babies R Us is also holding a liquidation sale at its location a short distance away at Center Pointe Plaza,near the Christiana Hospital campus.

The closing of the stores will leave two more “big box” spaces in the Christiana area. The former Comp USA store at the Geoffrey Drive site has been vacant for years despite an influx of stores and restaurants.

Centerpoint Plaza, a Capano retail holding, did manage to land the Laurel-based Johnny Janosikfurniture store group.

The Delaware company earlier opened a store at the Brandywine Town Center in north Wilmington as part of a northern expansion. Janosik has other locations in Laurel and Dover.

Janosik is one of the nation’s 100 largest furniture retailers and has effectively Delaware ’s sales tax-free status to its advantage in selling big-ticket items.

The retailer has relied on TV advertising to draw customers. It is selectively employing the same strategy in the more crowded Philadelphia area TV market, where cost is being spread to two locations.

Meanwhile, developers have converted a former Golf Smith-Office Depot space at the Geoffrey site into an assortment of smaller retail and service locations.

Based on signs at the site and web posts, First Watch, an upscale breakfast and lunch restaurant, a Naf Naf. Middle Eastern restaurant and another Chipotle are slated for the muti-tenants spaces.

Chipotle also has a food court slot in nearby Christiana Mall and is opening a location a few miles away on DuPont Highway in New Castle.

The Geoffrey Drive site already has a Fuddruckers fast casual restaurant, a Dunkin Donuts, Robbins Diamonds and 2nd and Charles a used book and electronic media store.

Much of the retail growth in the Christiana area has centered on the Christiana Fashion Center near the mall.

The Fashion Center has attracted an assortment of retailers and restaurant chains that include the upscale Ted’s Montana Grill, The Container Store, and Nordstrom Rack to name a few.

The Fashion Center got another boost with the opening of The Main Event bowling, dining and entertainment center, which is drawing crowds of families and young people.

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