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Unusual Tenants

Washington DC Retail

In the 1980s, everything was big, from hair to retail tenants. But today, bangs are tamed and the once-10k SF tenant is now taking only 5,000 SF, says De Rito Partners president of development Chuck Carlise. So how do you fill a 1.1M SF power center from that era?


Chuck's firm owns the The Pavilions at Talking Stick in Scottsdale. (He's pictured, left, with CEO Marty De Rito, president of brokerage Stan Sanchez, and COO Iver Bowden). He says you have to go for tenants—and not necessarily traditional retailers—that'll help visitors stick around. For one, it placed the K-12 Great Hearts Academy campus, serving 1,200 students, in 80k SF that used to house a Fiddlesticks and Chuck E Cheese. “It’s not a bused school, so parents can drop the children off in the morning and then perhaps go to Target or one of the restaurants,” Chuck says. The school will open in August.


Another non-traditional tenant: Octane Raceway, a one-third mile indoor and outdoor racetrack that occupies 45k SF at The Pavilions. The wait list to race is often three to four hours long, Chuck says, which means visitors are going to walk around other areas of the power center as they wait their turns. Fitness centers are also gaining steam. (We suggest the health nuts run around the racetrack, chased by cars. Two birds with one stone.) “We have to be reactionaries, and that means never saying no,” Chuck says. “Anyone can be a potential customer.” Entertainment, gyms, and restaurants tenants also aren't as impacted by the Internet as is a Sears.


The Pavilions is 86% occupied, and Chuck says there’s 150k SF out to market, including a 32k SF block and two 20k SF blocks. He’s been speaking to the gamut of potential tenants, from fabric stores to trampoline centers.