West Sunset Square

MIAMI—You’ve got to be nimble in a shifting market—and that’s Rialto Capital Management‘s story. With residential foreclosure activity waning, one of the most active purchasers of distressed homes during the Great Recession is turning its attention to maximizing the value of retail assets.

With that strategy in mind, Rialto just tapped CREC to lease its West Sunset Square shopping center. The 82,789-square-foot shopping center sits at intersection of Sunset Drive (Southwest 72nd Street) and Southwest 157 Avenue in Miami’s West Kendall submarket.

“If there was ever a case of retail demand following booming residential growth, this is it,” says Steven Henenfeld, director of retail leasing for CREC. Henenfeld and Ruben Suarez, a senior leasing associate at CREC, are leasing and marketing West Sunset Square on behalf of Rialto. “West Sunset Square is catering to West Kendall’s dense population, with more than 180,000 people residing within three miles of the property.”

Rialto Real Estate Fund II purchased the shopping center in December 2013. Dollar Tree and Aunt D’s Preschool, which total a combined 14,000 square feet of retail space, have both signed on as tenants at the property since Rialto’s acquisition. Planet Fitness has also opened for business.

“With a high quality owner like Rialto in place, deals with credit tenants are getting done in a timely manner,” says Henenfeld. “It’s really a best-case scenario for the property and the neighborhood.”

Originally developed in 2009 to meet a surge of retail demand among West Kendall’s growing population, West Sunset Square is 94% occupied. Additional tenants include Walgreens, Valsan, Sir Pizza, Metro PCS, and Subway.

The new Dollar Tree store measuring 9,715 square feet will open this month as the shopping center‘s fourth anchor tenant; Aunt D’s Preschool will occupy 4,950 square feet when it opens. The retail property only has one remaining outparcel and three in-line spaces left.