Not Your Traditional Retail Spot
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MCA Realty principal Tyler Mattox tells us that some OC industrial product is seeing new life as retail space--showroom space, that is, rather than traditional retail. Good candidates for conversion into showroom space include buildings with high visibility to a major freeway or arterial with significant daily traffic counts. They also need reasonable access, though that's not quite as critical as for a traditional retail center, since visibility is more important to draw customers in, Tyler says. The buildings also serve as a de facto marketing tool and provide brand identity for the retailer. (It beats standing on the side of the road with a sandwich board.)
"Furniture retailers have been the traditional tenants of this product type due to the size of space necessary to effectively merchandise their product, but we've seen more traditional and even specialty retailers embrace showroom space for its relative affordability," Tyler says. Recently MCA acquired Brookhollow Freeway Showroom Center, an 88k SF property in Santa Ana for nearly $10M. It's 63% occupied by Bestwinesonline.com, Kid's Room Furniture, and Sit n' Sleep, and Tyler says MCA will reposition it as "retail destination center." Investors have new opportunities to transform older multi-tenant properties into hubs for shopping, dining and more, he adds.