Real Estate Entrepreneur Michael Pollack ends February with the $9.9 million sale of Bethany Square Shopping Center, a 100,000 square-foot mixed use center located at the northeast corner of 43rd Avenue and Bethany Home Road in Phoenix.  

The owner and CEO of Mesa based Pollack Investments purchased the center in 1997 for $2.8 million. At the time the center was at 25-percent occupancy and in need of renovations.

“When we purchased this shopping center, we had several goals.  First it was in need of some small cosmetic repairs and secondly,  it needed to be brought up to full occupancy,” said Pollack.   “I’m proud to say we sold a vibrant and thriving center that is now at 99-percent occupancy and one the neighborhood can be proud of.”

The true mixed use property contains a large school, Goodwill and a combination of office and retail use.

Pollack, who still owns 100 commercial properties, including a Food City anchored shopping center located at Bethany Home Road and 27th Avenue and another center at Bethany Home Road and 59thAvenue, said it was time to move onto a new project.

That philosophy has been at the core of what his Mesa based Pollack Investments has been doing in shopping centers across California, Nevada, Texas and Arizona for the past 42 years.  

“I’ve bought and sold a lot of property over the years and I’m pleased with where we take these projects from and what we’re doing right now across the Valley.  We’re all about making our state better, one project at a time,” he said.

In the first two months of 2015, the real estate entrepreneur has already purchased several buildings, including the shop space attached to a Food City Grocery at the northeast corner of Mesa Drive and Southern in Mesa.  Pollack, who paid $1.1 million for the 20,000 square feet of retail space, plans another exciting renovation and repositioning of that property.

“This is a center that has long been neglected and is in need of some serious attention and a complete overhaul of the space,” said Pollack.  “I hope to make this Food City Anchored Shopping Center at Mesa Drive and Southern something that not only the tenants, customers and neighbors can be proud of, but the entire city can enjoy for years to come.”

In Gilbert, Pollack is also deeply involved in what may be one of his most dramatic retail transformations to date at the southeast corner of Ray and Gilbert Road.  In the spring of 2013 Pollack purchased the 12,500-square-foot rundown strip center that housed a fiberglass horse on the roof of the plaza.

“I can remember looking at that horse when I first rolled into town 24 years ago,” said Pollack. “It has been an architectural challenge. We are taking something that was totally antiquated and ugly. “My goal is to reposition the center and reconfigure it to look like something you would see at Disneyland.  We have even found a special place to incorporate the original fiberglass horse into the new western setting.”

As part of the repositioning of the Gilbert and Ray project, Pollack totallyrenovated the large adjoining restaurant space and brought a new tenant, JC’s Steakhouse to the center. With the center at 100% occupancy, construction should be completed by April 1, 2015.  

“This is a real-life example of what can be done with a rundown center.  I have taken one of the worst looking, most run-down shopping centers in Gilbert and I am turning it into the best looking center around,” said Pollack. 

Pollack is also proud to announce the purchase of a free standing building in front of his Alma School Villages Shoppes II project located between Elliot and Warner on Alma School Road in Chandler.  Pollack has grown the shopping center from 20,000 to 56,000 over the last decade and saw the opportunity to improve another building.

“The opportunity came up to buy the free standing building that fronts on Alma School Rd. that hashoused Oasis Bedrooms for many years,” said Pollack. “So we are pleased to take on another renovation and look to fill this 8,256 square foot space when the tenant moves out in about 120 days.”

But that’s not it for the real estate entrepreneur, in 2015 Pollack is also re-investing in the northeast corner of Alma School Rd. and Elliot Rd. in Chandler where he has brought the physical occupancy rates of the center to over 95% from a low of just 50% during the “Great Recession of 2009 to 2012.

The newest tenant at the Chandler location, AZ Elite Youth Sports and Gym will be where families can strengthen their bodies and strengthen their bonds together. AZ Elite is a premier fitness club for adults, teens and children alike, inclusive of a state-of-the-art gym, swim school, gymnastics program, rock-climbing wall, batting cages and training center. The 42,000-square-foot facility offers an array of adult fitness classes, as well as athletic training programs for children and teens in swimming, gymnastics, dance and more. Additionally, they will bring the family together in monthly fitness special events.

While the kids are immersed in their activities and classes, parents can work out in the gym, take their own class or relax at the same fitness club facility. When children aren’t scheduled for a class that day, their childcare center will keep kids happy and entertained while parents get in their workout. AZ Elite also offers a spa complex that includes massage therapy, skin care treatments, tanning and spray tanning options.

“We are so excited about AZ Elite Youth Sports and Gym Center being a part of our Chandler center. We feel that they can turn this into a center where families can come and have fun and exercise together,” Pollack said.

Pollack is also excited to welcome Rocker World and Zia Records to the center.  “We just recently celebrated the grand opening of Zia Records and we’re excited to welcome one of my all-time favorite record, CD and DVD stores,” said Pollack.