Shopping Center Business

MAY 2017

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

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INLAND EMPIRE 196 • SHOPPING CENTER BUSINESS • May 2017 growth of retail space got ahead of resi- dential. As a result of the residential mar- ket stalling there was virtually no retail development during the past seven years. Although we are currently only building about 20 percent of the houses we built in the mid-2000s, residential development is ticking up. We should see a direct correla- tion in the future between new retail de- velopment and new residential building. SCB : What are some of the hot spots for retail in the Inland Empire? UMANSKY : There are several. Victoria Gardens in Rancho Cucamonga has turned out to be a gem of the market- place. A lot of people travel from long distances to visit the center. It has a num- ber of restaurants and retailers that have created a great environment. The area around Ontario Mills is another popular retail destination. The Citrus Village and Mountain Gate centers in Redlands have helped create a hub there as well. Down- town Riverside has also really become a dynamic area and the Temecula/Murrie- ta markets are very vibrant as well. In the High Desert, the Mall of Victor Valley and surrounding retail is a favored shop- ping area. Highway 111 that runs to Palm Springs is going through a renaissance with a lot of redevelopment taking place in the Coachella Valley. SCB : You represent retailers and land- lords. What are you currently working on in the market? UMANSKY : Our firm specializes in the leasing and sale of retail properties in the Inland Empire. We currently handle the leasing for over 100 shopping centers in the region. In addition to the bread-and- butter leasing activity, we are involved in the re-tenanting of several big box spaces. We are representing an exciting project called Metro at Main in Corona. It is one of the first mixed-use projects in the trade area that will have apartments over retail. Being a part of that type of a project has been interesting. We've confronted quite a few challenges creating a dynamic cen- ter that plays off the apartments and the Metrolink train station across the street. We have also seen a substantial increase in the amount of ground up development that we are representing. In addition to leasing, the office is also very active in in- vestment sales and we currently have over $100 million in 'for sale' retail properties listed. SCB : What are the demographics like, in general, in the market? UMANSKY : The Inland Empire is home to over 4.5 million people. About 50 per- cent of the residents consider themselves of Hispanic heritage. But, many are sec- ond or third generation. Some retailers equate a Hispanic population with lower incomes but that is not always the case. The highest income communities — like Rancho Cucamonga and Corona — have a very high percentage of people who trace their roots to a Hispanic origin. We are also seeing significant growth in the Asian population, who have moved from the San Gabriel Valley further east. That is cre- ating some interesting opportunities. We have seen the Food Halls start to develop. A prime example is Haven City Market in Rancho Cucamonga where a Food Hall will anchor a new indoor marketplace in a former JC Penney location. One of the reasons that a Food Hall can work in a market like this is that people who live here enjoy a range of ethnic foods. The Inland Empire is a giant melting pot. If you look back 15 or 20 years, most people in this area probably didn't know what su- shi was. Now, we have sushi, poke, Thai, and every other ethnic food. SCB : You do a lot of work in the High Des- ert. The area is an extension of the Inland Empire that is a bit of a secret market. Tell us about that market. UMANSKY : Yes, the High Desert is part of the Inland Empire and primarily compris- es the cities of Victorville, Apple Valley, Hesperia, Adelanto and Barstow. The High Desert has a significant amount of available land, and thus it ebbs and flows with the economy a little more than other trade areas in Southern California. That said, there has not been a lot of new con- struction there of late. The area has really strengthened over the course of the past few years and it is well positioned for fu- ture economic growth including new resi- dential and industrial development. It is a place where housing is affordable, the air is fresh and there are a number of man- ufacturing jobs. People seeking a good quality of life are relocating to the area. SCB : What is lacking in the Inland Em- Sprouts, one of the grocers actively expanding in the Inland Empire, is opening at Alta Loma Plaza in Rancho Cucamonga, California, this month.

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