What type of retail strip malls do you visit most often? Think hard: The odds are good that it boasts some sort of grocery store, right?
This isn’t surprising. There’s one type of retail strip center that’s weathering the bad economy better than others: those anchored by grocery stores.
Matt Sonntag, assistant vice president and asset manager with Bloomington, Minn.-based United Properties, knows this well. His company focuses on acquiring retial centers that have their own grocery stores. And United Properties has had success filling these malls.
“Almost of the retail properties that we have are grocery-anchored centers,” Sonntag said during a recent phone interview. “There’s a reason for that. The grocery store is a solid anchor in both good and bad times. People have to eat no matter what the economy is doing.”
And when people are buying groceries, they might take the time to stop at other stores located in the strip mall. They might schedule a haircut at the beauty salon located next door. Maybe they’ll buy some paint at the hardware store or pick up some quick dinner at the pizza restaurant.
United Properties’ latest strip center success story comes in the Minneapolis/St. Paul suburb of Eden Prairie, Minn. Pizza chain Little Caesar’s in January signed a lease for 1,485 square feet at United Properties’ Prairieview Shopping Center.
That might not seem like too significant of a deal. But with this lease, the neighborhood retail center is now at 100-percent occupancy.
And in today’s retail environment, that ranks as an impressive feat.
Sonntag points to the fact that Prairieview features a grocery anchor, Rainbow Foods, which drives traffic to the mall. Having such an anchor is a strategy for success. Why mess with it?
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