Bank of America, General Nutrition Center, Verizon Wireless, Little Caesar’s Pizza and Others Drawn To Center at Palisades Boulevard and La Montana Drive Thanks to Positive Retail Environment
FOUNTAIN HILLS – Over the years, Fountain Hills Plaza – located at the corner of Palisades Boulevard and La Montana Drive – has provided residents of Fountain Hills with a variety of local retail businesses ranging from a newly-renovated Bashas’ Supermarket to one of the community’s most popular breakfast and lunch destinations, Flapjacks.
Originally constructed in 1986, the 124,500-square-foot center also is home to a number of highly-frequented and locally-owned small businesses, including Paul’s ACE Hardware, Great Clips, Radio Shack, Dental Care Specialists and Fountain Fashions, among others.
Since a $23 million renovation project was completed in the summer of 2009, Fountain Hills Plaza has undertaken “a new look with the addition of a number of well-known national retailers,” according to Jim Pederson, president of The Pederson Group, a Phoenix-based retail development company that owns and operates the center.
Newly-signed tenants now read like a “Who’s Who” in American retailing, including Bank of America, General Nutrition Center, Verizon Wireless, Little Caesar’s Pizza and H&R Block, Inc., the world’s largest tax services provider.
According to Pederson, Fountain Hills Plaza is the classic example of a retail center that has “reinvented itself” because of the challenging retail environment. “What once was a center comprised of primarily locally-owned businesses, is now a center that incorporates a blend of highly-successful local merchants and some of the country’s most recognizable brands,” Pederson said.
The evolution of the center is the result of the recent “challenging” economic times, and the recognition by The Pederson Group that local centers must adapt to meet the rapidly-changing shopping needs of the community, Pederson said.
“Infill retail projects are important to any community,” Pederson said. “When existing shopping centers located in older parts of a community become antiquated and are allowed to deteriorate, the entire trade area is impacted. In the case of Fountain Hills Plaza, we recognized the fact that creating a ‘new’ Bashas’ shopping experience – combined with the expansion of the center’s Paul’s ACE Hardware Store and the attraction of some well-known national tenants – would help revitalize the center and contribute to the community’s economic vitality.”
Following the major renovation of the center in 2009, The Pederson Group embarked on an aggressive campaign to attract major national tenants that would complement the center’s tenant mix and provide residents “a new reason to frequent the center,” Pederson said. “Shortly after we completed the renovation,” Pederson said, “the nation’s economy started to soften and our efforts to attract national retailers to the center were slowed quite a bit. However, over the course of the past 18 months Fountain Hills residents have seen the installation of a new Bank of America ATM at the center, and the opening of General Nutrition Center, Verizon Wireless, Little Caesar’s Pizza and H&R Block, Inc. The center – which is now about 92% leased – is now a nice mixture of local and national tenants.”
The Pederson Group has been successful in “re-launching” community shopping centers over the past 20 years in Scottsdale and other parts of the East Valley. Perhaps the company’s two most significant redevelopment projects are the renovation of Chaparral Plaza, located at the northwest corner of Hayden and Chaparral roads in Scottsdale, and another Bashas’-anchored center at the southeast corner of Hayden and Indian School roads, also in Scottsdale. Both of the centers – originally constructed 40 and 50 years ago – underwent major renovations that transformed them from aging, out-of-date projects into vibrant, competitive retail centers that continue to thrive today.
“We take great pride in what we have achieved at Fountain Hills Plaza,” Pederson said. “Over the years, the trade area has certainly undergone a transformation because of its growth, and we have carefully taken into consideration what our tenants and retailers have expressed to create to high-quality shopping experience.”
For more than 31 years The Pederson Group has been a premier Phoenix-based real estate development company specializing in upscale retail projects. The company has developed and remodeled more than 27 highly successful retail and mixed-use projects in the great Phoenix area, and has developed shopping centers totaling more than five million square feet.