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PHOENIX: Unusual Tenants Are Saving Retail

National Retail

Retail footprints (and hair) have shrunk since the 1980s, according to De Rito Partners' Chuck Carlise (left, with colleagues Marty De RitoStan Sanchez, and Iver Bowden). So how do they fill a 1.1M SF power center from that era? By thinking creatively. At De Rito's The Pavilions at Talking Stick in Scottsdale, it placed the K-12 Great Hearts Academy, serving 1,200 students, in 80k SF that once partially housed Chuck E Cheese. When parents drop off their kids, they can also visit Target or a restaurant, Chuck says. Octane Raceway, an indoor/outdoor racetrack that occupies 45k SF, often has a three-to-four hour wait list, so visitors walk around other areas of the power center in the meantime. “We have to be reactionaries, and that means never saying no,” Chuck says. “Anyone can be a potential customer.”