Shopping Center Business

MAY 2016

Shopping Center Business is the leading monthly business magazine for the retail real estate industry.

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DE-MALLING 230 • SHOPPING CENTER BUSINESS • May 2016 W hen PECO Real Estate Part- ners initially purchased Parma- town Mall, now known as The Shoppes at Parma, the company initially thought the center might still have viabil- ity as a mall. "This is a great location in the Cleveland market, a location that had been ignored for at least 10 years. We really liked the real estate and thought it was still a viable and relevant retail location considering all fac- tors," says Scott Mitchell, senior vice pres- ident of leasing in the Cincinnati office of PECO Real Estate Partners (PREP). PREP purchased the 84-acre property — including 300,000 square feet of enclosed mall space, a 150,000-square-foot retail strip center, and 22,500 square feet of medical office space — in December 2012. "The entire project was in bad shape — it had been given back to the bank," says Mitchell, who estimates the mall and the strip center were about 50 percent leased, while medical office space was about 80 percent leased at the time of purchase. The mall concept no longer made sense at Parma, he says. "We realized the mall could not compete effectively with the regional malls in the market given its size and physical plant condition. However, it does work as a power center in this established retail corridor. Traffic counts top 50,000 vehicles per day and nearby retailers include Target, Kohl's, Toys "R" Us, PetSmart and Giant Eagle" "The density of the market is incredi- ble," adds Robyn Hays, senior director of leasing at PREP. "There are 246,000 resi- dents in a five-mile radius, and a daytime population of 131,300 people." A PLAN FOR THE SHOPPES AT PARMA "The one thing that was impressed on us was that the anchors wanted to be here long term. The days of the mall had passed, but the demographics are strong and the market was underserved. We saw a great opportunity to redevelop here," Mitchell says. "Parma is the hole in the doughnut, when looking at the greater Cleveland Market," The Decision To De-Mall PECO Real Estate Partners re-envisions retail at the former Parmatown Mall. Randall Shearin and Jaime Lackey While PREP is changing a lot about the center, many of the anchors are remaining. PECO Real Estate Partners is converting the former Parmatown Mall near Cleveland — one of the country's first regional malls — into The Shoppes at Parma, an open-air center.

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