Shopping Centers Today

JUL 2018

Shopping Centers Today is the news magazine of the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC)

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J U L Y 2 0 1 8 / S C T 25 on an outparcel, and a third phase will involve construction of some 50,000 square feet of smaller retail buildings, to go up once the preleasing has com- menced. e firm has also proposed a third office tower, to be built over the next two or three years. To facilitate future financing of the project by institutional investors, Ellis worked with the city to gain approval for subdivision of the 27-acre proper- ty into three parcels, based on usage types. is proved to be the biggest challenge. "Like many places when the so-called 'out-of-town' developer comes in with a vision, there is a lot of resistance to that change," said Caro- line Morris, a partner and the senior vice president of asset management at Ellis Partners. "is property is an icon in the community, and we very painstakingly built relationships with various stakeholders, the planning commission and the planning depart- ment, and the city officials, because of Campbell, and what we saw was an opportunity to try to bring this really squarely back into the community by creating a significant new space." e plaza is also of benefit to the center's retailers. "It gives us an opportunity to do the kind of place-making that is so critical for shopping centers like ours," said Morris. "Having that plaza will allow us, as well as the tenants, to take their concepts and their ideas, their events and their programming, outside — where people want to be, and where people want to hang out." Ellis notes that the firm tries to work with and retain existing tenants that remain viable. At Pruneyard this meant reconfiguring and relocating one of the center's most stalwart an- chor tenants: Trudy's Brides & Special Occasions, a mainstay there for some 40 years. "It was really rewarding to be able to work with [Trudy's] to have them see our vision and to be able to not only implement a very successful reconfiguration and renovation of their store, but also have the opportu- nity to remerchandise our shopping center around their use, so that they continue being an even stronger regional destination, which they have always been," said Ellis. Ellis Partners made sure to meet with other tenants as well, to exchange ideas. "We worked with every anchor tenant in the shopping center to have some kind of renovation of their store," said Morris. "We have every- body on board looking to the future of this center." n everybody had an opinion, and every- body cared very, very much about this place that we had invested in." e Ellis Partners game plan involved reconsidering which of the property's retail offerings might best complement the office and hotel components. Changing up the food tenants was important. "e right kind of food and the right kind of mix of food offerings, including everything from sit-down restaurants to very small fast-casual, is a critical component of any shopping center today that has a chance of surviving in this retail dis- ruption we are experiencing," said Ellis. Among the new tenants are Asian Box, a street-food concept; Burg- er Lounge, a fast-casual restaurant that serves up grass-fed burgers and organic salads; Mendocino Farms, an artisan-sandwich shop that sourc- es seasonal ingredients from local farmers; and Teaspoon, which serves made-to-order specialty teas and frozen desserts. Another important step was the reintegration into the community of a large, grass-covered central plaza, which was re-employed for use by the retailers and for public events. "It was one of the things that, when we first toured the property, we saw as a hugely underutilized area," said Ellis. "We knew that this shopping center was a very important part of the city HISTORIC • In the late 1970s, The Pruneyard was involved in a free-speech dispute that involved local high school students and was ultimately decided by the U.S. Supreme Court on June 9, 1980. The court upheld a California Supreme Court ruling that said the state constitution allows individuals to peacefully exercise their right to free speech in parts of private shopping centers that are open to the public, subject to reasonable regulations.

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