Retail X Missouri

St. Louis' Sansone Group turns around formerly desolate shopping center in Missouri

Sometimes, the right approach can turn under-performing assets into top performers. Just ask St. Louis' Sansone Group. In just 10 months, Sansone took the desolate Dietrich Meadows retail center in Ballwin, Mo., from 40 percent vacant to 100 percent occupied.

Sometimes, the right approach can turn under-performing assets into top performers. Just ask St. Louis' Sansone Group. In just 10 months, Sansone took the desolate Dietrich Meadows retail center in Ballwin, Mo., from 40 percent vacant to 100 percent occupied.

And it did it without a single secret formula; Sansone Group officials just worked hard, negotiated smartly and marketed relentlessly to fill the formerly underused property.

Sansone Group took over the leasing and property management for the Dietrich Meadows center in August of 2010. At the time, the center was far from a plum holding.

This 70,325-square-foot center saw its business fall after a rival retail development opened nearby. The relocation of a nearby Walmart also hurt.

When Sansone Group first contracted the leasing for Dietrich Meadows, the center had 23,235 square feet of empty space to contend with. That came out to a vacancy rate of 33.17 percent. Two small-shop tenants were month-to-month, and both left within two months of Sansone's purchase. This caused the vacancy rate at the center to immediately increase to 40.14 percent.

To add to the challenges of leasing the center, a large anchor space of 18,425 square feet was still available, space that had been vacant for years. The anchor tenant, DSW Shoe Warehouse, had an exclusive on fitness users, which had made it difficult to fill this vacancy. Sansone Group immediately began negotiating with DSW to drop its exclusive. Negotiators with the firm were able to convince DSW to change its strategy, an action that led to the eventual signing of Planet Fitness for the 18,425-square-foot vacancy. Sansone Group then signed on Dollar Tree to take the final 9,800 square feet of small-shop space.

Sansone Group increased the income and value of the center substantially with the addition of Planet Fitness and Dollar Tree. The center is now fully leased, and is being offered for sale.

David Willis, Grant Mechlin and Mark Kornfeld with Sansone Group are the leasing and selling  agents for the center.