The development firm that owns and operates Fountain Hills Plaza might provide insight to the town in aggressively recruiting retailers to the community.
In the last four years since The Pederson Group invested $23 million in renovating the center, a handful of national retailers have moved into Fountain Hills Plaza, according to Jim Pederson, president.
General Nutrition Center, Verizon Wireless, Little Caesar’s Pizza and H&R
Block, Inc., all nationally recognized businesses, opened stores in the shopping center at the corner of Palisades Boulevard and La Montana Drive. Bank of America also built an ATM location.
The challenging retail environment forced Fountain Hills Plaza to re-invent itself, said Pederson.
The Pederson Group, owners and developers of the center, recognized that the center had to adapt to meet community shopping needs.
“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 a high-quality shopping experience,” said Pederson.
When shopping centers in older parts of a community become antiquated and deteriorate, the entire trade area is impacted, explained Pederson.
“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 and the attraction of some well-known national tenants, would help revitalize the center and contribute to the community’s economic vitality,” said Pederson.
After completing the renovation project in the summer of 2009, the developer embarked on an aggressive campaign to attract national tenants that would complement the center’s tenant mix and provide “new reason to frequent the center,” said Pederson.
A temporary setback happened when the nation’s economy softened and “our efforts to attract national retailers at the center were slowed quite a bit,” said Pederson.
The center is now 92 percent leased.
“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,” said Pederson.
Originally constructed in 1986, the 124,500 square-foot center also is home to locally-owned businesses with national presence, such as Paul’s ACE Hardware, Great Clips and Radio Shack.
“We take great pride in what we have achieved at Fountain Hills Plaza,” commented Pederson.
The Fountain Hills Times / August 7, 2013