Retail real estate is undergoing a metamorphosis. The Internet and e-commerce started the revolution, and the pandemic has accelerated it. Across the Midwest, Mid-America is helping corporate and institutional owners reinvent their retail real estate to thrive for the next 20 years.
Here are three examples of how Mid-America is helping reinvent retail real estate.
Market Meadows in Chicago
Market Meadows is a large neighborhood shopping center (159,000+ SF) in suburban Chicago. The center is anchored by a top-performing Jewel-Osco supermarket. But the center was showing its age.
Mid-America advised the owner on a redevelopment strategy to accommodate a self-storage tenant, reconfigure the center somewhat, modernize the facades, and activate a pad on a key corner of the site near a highly trafficked intersection. In addition to storage, we encouraged new uses including fitness and medical.
Mid-America led discussions with the grocery anchor to enable additional uses and visibility for other tenants, identified an approach to resolve an environmental issue, and played a key role in securing new entitlements for the redevelopment.
As operator of the site, we’ve overseen upgrades to improve parking lot circulation, signage, lighting and landscaping. As leasing broker, we’ve secured new tenants to fill the space, including Big Blue Swim School, BMO, Chipotle and Jersey Mike’s.
With the modernization plan in motion, the owner of the asset was able to secure an attractive price for the sale of the center, which Mid-America facilitated, and the stage was set for the new owner to create an asset that can thrive for the next 20 years.
Bayshore in Milwaukee
This nearly 1,000,000 SF mixed-use development was acquired by a new owner in 2019. Looking ahead — and in the interest of creating an even more compelling, walkable live-work-play destination — the owner moved to demolish a significant portion of the project to welcome a 315-unit luxury apartment community. There’s also the potential for a hotel, which the updated master plan includes.
As part of the property’s evolution, various retail spaces were demolished or otherwise redeveloped. Among the new tenants secured with Mid-America’s help have been Target, which now occupies a two-story outpost in a former Boston Store box, and Total Wine & More, which occupies a former Sports Authority space. Goldfish Swim School leased 10,000 SF for a kids-oriented facility, and Nike opened their Nike Live concept, the first in the state of Wisconsin.
Mid-America has been an advisor to the owner on the redevelopment plan and is leasing broker for the property’s retail component.
Ridgehaven in Minneapolis
Ridgehaven is a large neighborhood shopping center (140,000+ SF) in western Minneapolis. In the midst of the pandemic, the owner hired Mid-America to manage and lease the property. Immediate challenges: Resolve a nagging structural issue, clean up messy accounts receivable, fill some stubborn vacancy, and secure key tenant renewals.
Mid-America acted fast on all fronts. We assessed the risk of the structural issue (columns supporting a canopy that could collapse), identified the cause of the problem, and secured approval to have it fixed. The issue had been holding up the anchor tenant’s lease renewal, which we then secured for a considerable 15-year term.
We facilitated other lease renewals and extensions, and attracted a key new tenant to the center: A high-end Italian furniture store downtown that had never before operated in the suburbs. We helped the retailer reinvent themselves by realizing the benefits of a satellite location.
At the same time, we undertook a multi-year audit and reconciliation of the property’s CAM expenses and taxes, and got collections processed and paid up to date. After evaluating vendors serving the center, we replaced a few to improve the service level, be more cost effective, or both.
As a result of our efforts, the owner was comfortable positioning the property as a “jewel” and offering it for sale. The net result? A top-dollar sale price paid for an asset reset for the next 20 years.