Western Real Estate Business

SEP 2018

Western Real Estate Business magazine covers the multifamily, retail, office, healthcare, industrial and hospitality sectors in the Western United States.

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68 • September 2018 • Western Real Estate Business www.REBusinessOnline.com LBG REAL ESTATE REINVESTS IN THE RETAIL REVOLUTION From sought-after services to modern facilities and today's top tenants, LBG is actively revamping its retail centers to accommodate tomorrow's shopper. By Nellie Day L os Angeles-based LBG Real Es- tate Companies has always fo- cused on opportunistic invest- ments, but it's revved up its game recently as it cultivates two custom- er-oriented shopping attractions out West. The privately held real estate investment company has been busy adding innovative retailers and res- taurants to the Village Medford Cen- ter, a 420,000-square-foot lifestyle center in southern Oregon undergo- ing a $10 million renovation. Down the coast, LBG is also executing a re- branding and re-tenanting plan at its recently acquired the Shops at Hilltop, a 1.2-million-square-foot shopping center in the San Francisco East Bay submarket of Richmond, California. Leslie Lundin, managing partner at LBG, believes this is the pivotal time to undertake such en- deavors as consum- ers focus on new, novel and notewor- thy. "In today's re- tail environment, you have to attract a range of ages that includes locals as well as tourists," she notes. "This combination is the hallmark of the re- imagined retail environment, which is proving to be successful." Mind Over Medford Just north of the California border sits Medford, Oregon, a town that values family, health and the great outdoors. LBG is incorporating these local values into its Village Medford Center redevelopment as it enhances its architectural and landscape de- signs, including a pedestrian plaza and an 80-foot architectural tower that will be visible from the Interstate 5, attracting those passing in and out of the state. Two of the Village's anchors are also being reimagined. Tinseltown Theater received a completely revamped inte- rior that now features luxury recliner seating and new food and drink offer- ings that will soon include alcoholic beverages. International Fitness also underwent a makeover, emerging as Village Fitness with a fully remodeled interior, as well as new management, equipment and programming. LBG's reinvestment efforts didn't go unnoticed, as five new tenants re- cently signed onto Village Medford Center. They include a variety of lo- cal entrepreneurs who have gained a following in and around the Medford community. Salon veteran Trisha Ma- honey branched off to open her own outpost, Adorn Waxing & Skincare Studio, at the center after more than a decade in the industry. Meanwhile, Adam Nadow debuted his own Fu- doshin Brazilian Jiu Jitsu studio this past July next to Panache Dance Co., which was founded by dance teacher and nearby Rogue Valley native Syd- ney Smedley. These businesses have created a fitness and healthy lifestyle hub at Village Medford Center. In a sign of the times, two online- only companies have also chosen Village Medford for their inaugural brick-and-mortar locations. Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising graduate Rocky Sharpe opened her first Simply Sharpe Boutique store- front selling high-end women's cloth- ing and accessories near the Tinsel- town box office, while Ashley Lacer opened the complementary affordable women's clothing store Ella Lane Bou- tique across the way. As pure-play retail dies off and om- nichannel continues to gain steam, David Goldman, managing partner at LBG, believes we will continue to see new artisans move their opera- tions from the web to a more balanced bricks-and-clicks strategy. "The marriage of e-tailing and brick and mortar is becoming commonplace and necessary for the success of both," he says. "This is all part of the evolu- tion of retail." These types of tenants will be especially active, Goldman notes, in neighborhood centers within tightknit communities like Medford. "Both of these tenants were local residents who had strong online and local followings," he continues. "They believed that the next natural step in their growth was to create a physical presence, which can most efficiently be achieved through brick-and-mor- tar locations." Catering to the Masses Medford may have made it loud and clear that this community prefers local, but farther south, LBG is going global. The company purchased the flailing 77-acre Hilltop Mall just 20 miles northeast of San Francisco with its partner in July 2017. At the time, the 1.2-million-square-foot mall had been foreclosed upon, having experi- enced a barrage of distressed owners for at least five years prior to the sale. LBG's reimagined vision for the center was inspired, in part, by one very crucial fact. "We are proactively responding to not only significant overall popula- tion growth projected for the East Bay region in the years ahead, but also to cultural marketplace shifts that are currently taking place in the Shops at Hilltop's core trade area," Lundin explains. "Currently estimated at 22 percent, dramatic growth among the region's Asian population is projected to increase over 10 percent by 2023." The Shops at Hilltop is situated within a residential trade area that boasts more than 1.2 million perma- nent residents in 483,000 households. The area is experiencing significant population growth in general, but par- ticularly among its Asian population. The influence and buying powers of this demographic shouldn't be under- estimated, Lundin says, citing Nielsen Company's recent findings. These findings, released in a May 2018 re- port titled "Asian-Americans: Digital Village Medford Center is a 420,000-square-foot lifestyle center in Medford, Ore., undergoing a $10 million renovation. The center reflects its surrounding demographic of families and outdoor enthusiasts with multiple health, fitness and beauty tenants and a revamped Cinemark theater. Lundin Ella Lane Boutique is an online company that opened its first store in the Village Medford Center on June 23. Previously an online-only retailer, Simply Sharpe agreed to make Village Medford Center home for its first storefront.

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