COVINA, CA—Stater Bros. Supermarket has signeda 15-year lease for a 42,000-square-foot anchor space atGrand-Covina Plaza, a shopping center in Covina,CA. The anchor location has remained vacant for the past two yearsafter Albertsons, the former anchor tenant,vacated. The lease value was not disclosed.

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The landlord has sought a grocer to fill thespace since Albertson's left, but found it difficult to find atraditional grocery tenant. Many traditional grocers are being hitby the changing retail landscape. “Stater Bros. is one of the few,what I would call, full-line grocers that is in an expansion modenow,” Terry Bortnick, Argent RetailAdvisors founder, tells GlobeSt.com. Bortnick representedthe landlord in the transaction. “Ralphs has not been opening newstores, Albertsons is in a store liquidation andSafeway is now in the process of being hired byCerberus. The only full-line, Southern California,credit grocery store that is doing deals is Stater Brothers,” headds.

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While the space sat vacant, Bortnick looked into other groceryoptions, like ethnic and regional grocery stores. However, he foundthat there was either too much diversity in the area to attract anethnic grocer or the niche and regional grocery stores didn't havethe financial stability the owner wanted. A retaillandlord wants to make sure that you are going to weatherthe storm,” he says. “The area is mostly middle-income, and StaterBros. is an expert at operating in these types of areas. It had ahole in its network of stores in the area and this was anopportunity for them to fill in that space.”

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Stater Bros. will begin renovating the location immediately andplans to take occupancy by November 2014 for the Thanksgivingseason. Additionally, the owner plans to renovate the centersignificantly to attract a new tenant mix, including shops,restaurants and junior anchors to the 112,000-square-foot site. Thecurrent tenant roster includes Dollar Tree, KFC, 7-11, H&R Block and Radio Shack.

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GlobeSt.com's sister publication recently published a storyabout the consolidation and general upheaval in the grocery storesector, questioningwho would come out on top. The story reviewed all ofthe major players in the industry.

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Kelsi Maree Borland

Kelsi Maree Borland is a freelance journalist and magazine writer based in Los Angeles, California. For more than 5 years, she has extensively reported on the commercial real estate industry, covering major deals across all commercial asset classes, investment strategy and capital markets trends, market commentary, economic trends and new technologies disrupting and revolutionizing the industry. Her work appears daily on GlobeSt.com and regularly in Real Estate Forum Magazine. As a magazine writer, she covers lifestyle and travel trends. Her work has appeared in Angeleno, Los Angeles Magazine, Travel and Leisure and more.