Tag Archives: Phoenix retail

PowerPoint Presentation

Phoenix retail is poised for progress

The Phoenix commercial retail market continues to improve in vacancy and increased leasing activity.  Vacancy rates, once hovering near 14% have now dropped to 10.6% through the 2nd quarter of 2014.  Leasing activity of 2.6 million square feet in 2013 was the strongest recorded since before the Great Recession six years ago.  Additionally, in the first two quarters of 2014 the market has recorded absorption of 750,000 square feet.  These three factors combined position the market to continue to improve through the balance of 2014.

Of the six regional areas, all but two are in single-digit vacancy as of the 2nd quarter.  The Central and Southeast regions continue to be hit with higher big box vacancies that drive the vacancy higher in these regions.  Overall in Phoenix big boxes total 38% of our total vacant space.  However, in the Central region big boxes account for 46% of the vacancy, and in the Southeast region it is 42%.   With 261 vacant big boxes in Phoenix, this component of the retail market continues to be a cause for concern.

A bright spot on the horizon is that retailers and restaurants are active with national and regional concepts announcing their arrival in the market.  Activity for shop space is increasing and rental rates for premium buildings are holding strong.  Retailers who have remained relatively dormant during the last five or six years are cautiously starting up their expansion plans once more.

With little to no new construction on the horizon we are accelerating the rate that vacancy declines, and even with continued steady absorption, we are projecting that the entire market will be in single-digit vacancy with every regional area recovering to near pre-recession vacancy levels.  Phoenix is poised for continued progress in 2014.

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Walmart announces new supercenter at Metrocenter Mall

Today, Walmart announced plans to build a Supercenter at the iconic Metrocenter Mall, near I-17 and 35th Avenue, in northwest Phoenix. Work on the project is expected to begin in the first quarter of 2015 with the demolition of the former Broadway building, which has been vacant since 2006.

Officials with Walmart, the City of Phoenix and Metrocenter Mall, as well as area business owners and community leaders, were on-hand for the Supercenter announcement. This marks the single largest capital investment in Metrocenter Mall in decades.

“Metrocenter Mall is a Phoenix landmark that has served shoppers from across Arizona for decades,” said Phoenix City Councilwoman Thelda Williams. “I’m proud to be a part of this announcement with Walmart and I know that, together with its efforts and those of the City of Phoenix and area business and community leaders, Metrocenter Mall’s best days are still ahead.”

Metrocenter Mall opened in 1973 as the biggest shopping center in Arizona and one of the largest nationwide. Recent years saw Metrocenter challenged by the establishment of competing regional malls, changing shopping patterns and the Great Recession. Now, Metrocenter Mall owner Carlyle Development Group, the City of Phoenix and community leaders are intent on bringing new life to the area. In mid-March, the Phoenix City Council unanimously approved a redevelopment plan that will, over the coming decade, guide land use, infrastructure upgrades and public transportation for a 2,500-acre area, including Metrocenter Mall. Currently, the retail vacancy rate in the vicinity averages 28 percent, more than double the citywide figure.

The construction of a Walmart Supercenter is a critical part of Metrocenter’s turnaround, said Warren Fink, COO of Carlyle Development Group.

“Our vision when we acquired Metrocenter Mall two-and-a-half years ago was to bring in a well-known anchor to serve our local community. Walmart more than fulfills that requirement and we are thrilled to welcome them,” said Fink. “This is a first step toward revitalizing a once dominant mall, rebuilding customer commitment and moving forward with plans for the future of Metrocenter that include rezoning to permit complimentary uses such as multifamily apartments, senior housing, corporate offices, healthcare facilities and medical offices.”

Marcia Veidmark, Chairwoman of the North Mountain Business Alliance, is supportive of the Walmart Supercenter, and said its development should help attract additional customers and capital investment to the area.

“This is a very good day for Metrocenter Mall and for the Metro and North Mountain communities,” said Veidmark.  “Walmart’s investment can be a catalyst for economic growth and job creation.  We need both of these.”

New Supercenter, Same High-Quality Walmart Products and Services

The new Walmart Supercenter at Metrocenter Mall is scheduled to open in 2016. The 148,000-square-foot store will provide 24/7 shopping convenience and offer quality, value-priced general merchandise that includes apparel, electronics, toys and sporting goods. The store also will feature a full-service pharmacy and complete line of groceries, including organic selections, fresh dairy and meat departments and local favorites.

Walmart will construct the Supercenter with industry-leading technology to maximize energy efficiency, conserve water and minimize waste. Environmentally responsible features will include LED lighting, high-efficiency HVAC units and the use of drought-tolerant landscaping irrigated with a low-flow and drip watering system.

Once open, the Supercenter will employ an estimated 250 associates. A mix of full- and part-time positions will be available throughout the store, including: department managers, customer service, personnel, maintenance, sales associates, stocking positions, cashiers and more.

“Walmart is committed to the Phoenix community, and we’re thrilled this Supercenter will bring one-stop shopping convenience to our customers while playing a key role in the revitalization of Metrocenter Mall,” said Paula Ginnett, a Walmart Vice President and Regional General Manager. “This is truly a win-win, and we are grateful to Metrocenter Mall officials, the City of Phoenix, community leaders and – most of all – Walmart customers for making it possible.”