We began work on this project when the 997,131 square foot mall had just been acquired by a new, international group and was in quick need of some attention. With the aid of new ownership and an aggressive redevelopment plan, an aggressive multi-million dollar renovation was made to the property in order to bring the 1980’s layout and decor up to a modern design, all while redefining the asset as a community icon.
We were involved from the beginning of the acquisition working with national tenants (such as Victoria’s Secret, Bath & Body Works, Zumiez, Lenscrafters, Genesco, Dillards, etc.), regional tenants, and, locals working to renew and restructure existing leases as well as attracting new tenants to the property.
In early 2019, we finalized a deal with B&B Theaters to bring the national theater company’s second location to Mississippi. We facilitated a deal where ownership purchased an existing building adjacent to the property and provided $7+M in improvements to the property for the new tenant. The theater operates over 400 screens at 50 locations throughout the U.S.
National Credit Tenants
We began work on this project when the shopping center had over 130,000 SF of vacancy – largely due to a vacant grocery box, vacant department store, and a vacant junior box shoe store. The vacant department was an eyesore that anchored the most visible part of the shopping center. Its floor plan was outdated, and the facade needed an upgrade to pull the center into one cohesive unit. The other vacancies were too large for the tenant demand in the area and also needed updating. Through some creative, outside of the box thinking and many meetings with contractors and architects, we were able to create a revised leasing plan. We updated the appearance of the center, brought the space footprints up to today’s market requirements, and completed ten transactions with national and regional tenants. Our work raised the occupancy rate to a wowing 94%, and our leasing stabilization and redevelopment services ended up increasing the owner’s NOI by over $826,000 per year.
National Credit Tenant Mix
+ $826,000 NOI
Our story at Helena Marketplace in Helena, AL is one of patience, diligence, trusting in what we felt was the highest and best use for the property, and working with clients that shared our same goals. Soon after Winn Dixie gave us notice that this was the only location in Alabama they would be closing, we had an extensive list of prospective retailers to fill the void. This ranged from local and regional grocers, to discounters, to hard good retailers – some taking the entire square footage and others who would only need a portion of the box. We provided the ownership with several different scenarios on all of these tenants showing the immediate effects on the net operating income, capital expenditures, return on investment, return of investment, and most importantly, the overall value of the property. Our time spent courting Walmart Neighborhood Grocery took many twists and turns, but we knew this was the highest and best use for the property from the start – they were literally our first call once we heard of Winn Dixie’s closing. After two and a half years of working the deal, we were able to take Walmart’s initial offer of buying the property at a discount and turned it into a long-term lease where our investors would be the landlord of a tenant with some of the best credit in the commercial real estate universe. The Walmart lease coupled with the buyout deal we worked out with Winn Dixie was a home run for the ownership as we sourced a deal that added approximately $7 million in overall value to the center.
National Credit Tenant
+ $7M Value
We took over the challenging project leasing in Selma soon after K-Mart declared bankruptcy and vacated the property – leaving an 86,479 SF vacancy. We were left with a huge amount of space in an existing building located at “main and main”; an opportunity which was a blank canvas in our eyes. The main problem facing us was not if we should cut the box up or
not for multiple retailers, but it was how to pay for the hundreds of thousands of dollars of construction costs and how to get national tenants open for business in a center experiencing significant cash flow issues at the time. Our relationship with national retailers paid off and we all dug in and negotiated creative deals none of us had done in any our tenures.
Some of the deals consisted of the tenants performing 100% of the build-out, ownership providing a considerable amount of rental abatement in lieu of the improvement costs, and implementing a proprietary strategy. Our leasing efforts not only stabilized the center, but we added tenants with significant creditworthiness; therefore, adding substantial value to the center. Now the 86,479 SF vacancy only has a small 3,000 SF shop space remaining for lease, and we have national credit retailers open for business in its place.
Creative Dealmaking to secure long-term deals
It was no secret that Kmart was a deteriorating brand nationwide and would be closing – we just did not know exactly when. Knowing it was eminent, our team worked with the property owners to create a merchandising and redevelopment plan for the 94k+ sf box in a tertiary market in Alabama. Considering the current market conditions and the rent these retailers could afford, we still had a gap in our proforma rent between what we had and what we needed. Armed with a host of interested retailers, we sought the help of the city and county for a tax incentive revenue sharing program. The key components to getting these deals done were the partnership we had with the city and the know-how to make the numbers work. We facilitated the city and property owner’s tax revenue sharing plan; the city listened, and their willingness to work together on this project was the glue that kept it all together.
National Credit Tenant Mix
+ $7M Value
Located on one of the best corners in the Northern submarket, the 100% vacant Gardendale Square had all of the ingredients for a premier retail center when the ownership hired us to help. After years of local credit retailers occupying the chopped-up property, we were given a blank slate to quarterback the redevelopment efforts with a goal of maximizing the overall property value.
After securing a short list of national-credit retailers we were able to select was best for the desired tenant mix. We brainstormed with contractors and architects to discover unused, leasable square footage in a front canopy structure that could be enclosed. By utilizing this corridor, the total buildable square footage increased while keeping construction costs at a minimum. Meetings with the city not only paved the way to special approval for additional parking in the city’s right of way but also provided a tax revenue sharing partnership to stabilize the owner’s bottom line. Finally, we guided ownership through securing rare and aggressive financing with the lender.
In eight short months, we successfully met the goal of maximizing the potential value of the property through some persistent hard work and creativity. Our multifaceted efforts of guiding the ownership through the process of marketing the property, negotiating leases, securing financing, finalizing contractors bids, brainstorming with architects, and partnering with the city for help on incentives increased the property value by approximate $4 Million.
+ Usable Square Footage
National Credit Tenant Mix
+ $4M Value