Western Real Estate Business

OCT 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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www.REBusinessOnline.com Western Real Estate Business • October 2018 • 53 THE PORT OF SAN DIEGO PULLS IN NEW OPPORTUNITIES San Diego. "This period of time pres- ents a great opportunity for Seaport Village and for current and prospec- tive tenants." Time of Transition Current tenant leases also came to an end on Sept. 30, to coincide with the change of ownership. Though most existing tenants decided to renew, a few business owners chose to retire or pursue other avenues after decades- long ventures. This has opened up the door for novel and new-to-market tenants to capitalize on a rare water- front opportunity in San Diego. "During the in- terim period before full-fledged redevel- opment begins, our team will be manag- ing Seaport Village with the goals of re- furbishing and repo- sitioning the site for locals and visitors," says Jeff Essakow, owner of Protea Property Manage- ment, which is cur- rently managing the project and a partner in the 1HWY1 development group. "In addition to existing restaurants, retail and enter- tainment offerings, we plan to use the site to test new experiential, retail, food and site activation concepts to get a better feel for what will perform the best in the final buildout." Maus believes these test, pilot and incubator sites will be mutually ben- eficial to both the r e d e v e l o p m e n t team and the ten- ants. Their presence would bring unique concepts and experi- ences to Seaport Vil- lage, while allowing these operators to test the waters (no pun intended) with the local and tour- ist populations. Plus, there's always a value in getting your name out in front of decision-makers. "This transition doesn't just provide short-term opportunities until the re- development occurs," Maus explains. "We hired a property manager that is also one of the members of the ulti- mate development team. Tenants that would be interested in a space now, could get an early foot in the door on this major waterfront redevelopment. If you were ever thinking about a tourist-centric location along San Di- ego's waterfront, here is the place and now is the time to do it." The current iteration of Seaport Vil- lage includes more than 50 retail shop spaces, 17 dining concepts, and a va- riety of live music and public perfor- mance areas. Though the Board of Port Commissioners has not yet approved a project description for Seaport San Diego, 1HWY1 anticipates this new project will be a mixed-use program that may contain such programmatic components as hotels, restaurants, re- tail and attractions. About 70 percent of the Seaport San Diego project will be composed of open space, includ- ing parks, rooftop terraces and prom- enades. "Our vision is for a new icon for the City of San Diego, one that rees- tablishes a meaningful connection to the water for locals and visitors alike," Essakow explains. "As far as future retail and restaurants at Seaport, we will be actively testing all types of concepts during our early phase. We will be looking at casual pop-up busi- nesses as well as established brands." Though Essakow clarifies that ten- ants who occupy space within the current Seaport Village are not guar- anteed a space at the new Seaport San Diego, it never hurts if the decision- making team is already familiar with a concept when it comes time to make those longer-term decisions. "We have met extensively with all current tenants and engaged in con- structive dialogue that has been ex- tremely valuable in shaping our vi- sion for Seaport's future," Essakow continues. "We are committed to maintaining a strong bond with the current retailers because they have de- fined Seaport for decades and provide incredible insight into this important place." Existing Experience Don Moser, partner and co-founder of Retail Insite, which is overseeing the leasing efforts, believes the next wave of tenants to bring Seaport Vil- lage to maximum capacity will follow the current shopping trends. That in- cludes food, fun and family. "This interim leasing period pro- vides tenants — whether established brick and mortar, ecommerce retail- ers, food truck concepts or restaura- teurs with multiple locations — the opportunity to expand and have a storefront presence now," he says. "Businesses will have the opportunity to attract new customers, test concepts and strengthen brand recognition. We are targeting retailers that provide a great shopping experience by offering excellent customer service, items that are iconic to the region and unique to the area." The majority of Seaport's vacant spaces contain less than 2,000 square feet, providing an ideal breeding ground for test concepts. Moser be- lieves these spaces will be particularly attractive to new food concepts. "In addition to re- tail, we are focused on adding more din- ing options," he con- tinues. "The space available at Seaport Village is irreplace- able. Each tenant has the opportunity to create an expe- rience that will be one of a kind, and these smaller spaces are ideal for small-format food users. Retail is changing but the change is providing a movement to enhance the shopping experience." Maus also notes that while this pre- mier piece of San Diego waterfront is for all to enjoy, she wants to make sure it attracts the visitors Downtown is known for. "Seaport Village is a specialty re- tail center," she clarifies. "Being on the waterfront and within the coastal zone, we're really looking for unique opportunities that target the visitors who are coming to San Diego." The leasing team may be consid- ering mom and pops and national brands, along with first-to-market and previously online-only companies, but there are a few types of tenants Maus believes may not be the perfect fit from a tourist standpoint. "The restriction with Seaport Vil- lage is that it really needs to be an amusing, visitor-serving use," she says. "The thing that is interesting SAN DIEGO from page 1 The new Seaport San Diego may also call for a retail and restaurant Main Street-like area. Part of Seaport San Diego may be a 500-foot observation tower with sweeping views of the harbor. Jeff Essakow Protea Waterfront Development Penny Maus Port of San Diego Don Moser Retail Insite continued on next page

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