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Exclusive: East Bay shopping center lands new grocery tenant to anchor redevelopment strategy

The new owners of the regional mall have mapped out a multi-phased plan to redevelop the East Bay property into a shopping and entertainment geared toward the region’s strong Asian demographic.

LBG Funds has finalized a 35,000-square-foot lease with Taiwanese grocer 99 Ranch Market to anchor the first of four phases that the Los-Angeles-based investor is planning for the once-struggling Richmond property.

Rebranded as the Shops at Hilltop, the first phase will also include leases for 55,000 square feet of restaurant space; new tenants for a 20,000-square-foot food hall and 12,000-square-foot food court; as well as a variety of incoming shops, entertainment and pop-up uses.

LBG is estimating work on the first retail phase will be completed in mid-2019.

 

 

Read more from San Francisco Business Times

 

 

 

Exclusive: $75 million renovation, office conversion proposed at San Francisco’s biggest shopping mall

Westfield San Francisco Centre, the city’s largest shopping center, could see a $75 million makeover and partial office space conversion. 

Mall landlords Westfield Corp. and Forest City Realty Trust Inc. proposed this week a renovation of tenant spaces, a new facade with more glass, and three new outdoor terraces for the 865 Market St. portion of the property. The companies also want to convert existing retail, storage and meeting space into 49,999 square feet of office space on the seventh and eighth floors. The proposal requires approval from the City Planning Commission.

Numerous retail spaces in the Bay Area and elsewhere are seeking to convert to office amid turmoil in the shopping sector.

 

Read more from San Francisco Business Times

 

 

WeShop? WeWork preps a retail push

WeWork has built a billion-dollar business by convincing professionals to pay for decked out coworking spaces and a sense of community.

Entrepreneurs Ali Kriegsman and Alana Branston want to do the same for retail.

The pair are cofounders of Bulletin, a young startup that charges female-focused lifestyle brands a monthly membership fee for placement in its retail spaces and on its online marketplace. It raised more than $2 million last year and plans to open a flagship store in New York this spring.

But the founders are acutely aware that a behemoth is waiting in the wings: WeWork.

“In total transparency, we know that they’re going to penetrate retail, but we don’t know exactly what that means,” Kriegsman told CNN. “We’re eager to see.”

Two new job postings seen by CNN suggest Kriegsman is right to assume retail will play a bigger part in WeWork’s growing empire.

WeWork is looking to hire at least two senior employees to spearhead a push deeper into retail and e-commerce, according to the job listings posted to the company’s website this month.

The company is seeking a VP to “launch” a “new retail experience,” with a focus on food and beverages, one job posting says. The role will involve a “first location” in New York with plans to “quickly” open new locations in other markets.

Read more from CNN

Grocery-Anchored Shopping Centers Begin to Experience Retail Headwinds

Conventional wisdom posited that grocery-anchored shopping centers would be immune from the Amazon effect. While that might be the case for now, industry insiders say grocers need to adapt—not just in light of a potential threat from e-commerce players, but also because of the increasing number of competitors in the space.

So far, online shopping—while taking a toll on department stores and the brick-and-mortar apparel retailers in particular—has not hit grocery stores as hard. Recent analysis from Morningstar Credit Ratings, which focused on Campbell’s soup, noted that online purchasing of grocery products hasn’t gained a lot of traction: it accounts for “a low-single-digit percentage of total sales.”

Read more from National Real Estate Investor

Malls Spending Big on Renovations, Evolving into Mixed-Use Properties

When architect Victor Gruen designed Southdale Center – the nation’s first fully-enclosed, climate-controlled shopping mall – he envisioned a communal gathering place that eventually would incorporate a medical center, schools, offices, homes and apartments – not just a parade of glitzy stores.

The mall boasted fountains, tropical plants, sculptures and even a large bird cage. It was quite the attraction in the mid-1950s.

Now 61 years after Southdale opened, Gruen’s original vision is becoming a reality. Southdale, a Simon Property Group-owned mall in Edina, Minn., now includes luxury apartments constructed in part of the mall’s parking lot, a Homewood Suites by Hilton that broke ground in June, a Life Time going into a former JC Penney store, and even a government center. Also, a new Restoration Hardware and a proposed Shake Shack will round out Southdale’s last two parking-lot redevelopment sites.

Read more from VTS Blog

 

San Jose: Vacant Nob Hill store will be home to a new church amid community concerns

A vacant former Nob Hill grocery store at the center of a debate over whether the city should step in when commercial landlords let empty storefronts fester will soon become a church.

But community leaders who protested other plans to fill the site that had become blighted and infested with rodents over the last two years said the latest proposal is hardly an improvement for the struggling retail center.

“I was disappointed, I think it’s inappropriate for a church to be inside an anchor store in a strip mall,” said Issa Ajlouny, who’s lived in the neighborhood for 33 years and spearheaded a push to get the space filled. He fears the church will attract homeless people to the shopping center.

“Will that make things worse?” Ajlouny asked. “Is that fair to the other stores in the center?”

Read more from The Mercury News

Food Halls Help Urban Retail Landlords Maintain Competitive Edge

More than one-third of consumers, 34 percent surveyed in a recent AlixPartners study, said they look forward to dining out more often in the next 12 months, according to the research firm’s November 2017 update on the sector. That sounds like encouraging news for landlords around the country who are rapidly expanding food halls in urban shopping districts.

Dining out has been on an upward swing since the National Restaurant Association found that in December 2014, for the first time on record, Americans’ spending at restaurants exceeded their spending at grocery stores. Just as dining establishments are seen as a viable use to backfill vacant anchor spaces, food halls are considered the newest and hottest way to combine dining, entertainment, and even locally sustainable eating in one place.

Read more from National Real Estate Investor

Amazon’s Big Moves Cause Big Changes

It seems as though Amazon is in the headline of every news story, from their acquisition of Whole Foods to the hunt for their next headquarters location, this company is making big moves that will result in big changes for the commercial real estate industry.

Experts have predicted that Amazon will utilize Whole Foods stores as hubs for grocery pick-up and delivery, resolving the “last mile” issue. The $13.7 million acquisition has the potential to completely change the grocery industry. This deal presents an opportunity for retail real estate investors because it underscores the vital role of brick-and-mortar stores in the future of the retail sector.

Read more from NAI Global

Rihanna’s Fenty Line is a Wake-Up Call for the Retail Industry

Consumers thirsty for non-Caucasian-targeted products are starting to get their due from retail brands.

Earlier this month, for instance, Rihanna debuted Fenty Beauty, a “Beauty for All” collection that offers products for every skin tone — think 40 different shades of foundation. The line, the latest from the trend-setting singer/designer, was met with immediate enthusiasm from consumers who were used to being ignored.

Read more from Advertising Age

Here’s why flagship stores for retailers like Apple and Starbucks have become tourist attractions

Retailers of all kinds are trying to make their bricks-and-mortar locations more appealing to shoppers to drive traffic through the doors. At a time when companies like Amazon.com Inc. have made e-commerce the most convenient way to shop, retailers aim to make the hands-on experience of going to a store worth the trip.

Read more from MarketWatch