Thank you for sharing!

Your article was successfully shared with the contacts you provided.

Property managers are driving major value in retail assets—as long as they understand the businesses of their tenants. It’s become clear that successful retail tenants make successful retail properties, but there is more to it than simply finding a daily-needs anchor that promises Internet resistance. Case is point is a recent five-building automotive retail property that traded hands in Chula Vista for a 176% over the original investment. The property is located in a retail-zoned corridor—a rarity for automotive projects today, which made it an especially desirable opportunity. While the property was rare because of the zoning, the property management team was integral in driving value, turning the failing and mostly vacant asset into a profitable automotive center.

The most interesting aspect of this case is perhaps the owner’s decision not to change the use. The ownership could have gutted the property and built it out for a more traditional retail use—after all, the project is zoned for retail. Instead, The Heritage Group, the team behind the value-add project, chose to keep the automotive use. “We could have changed the use, but the property has never been anything other than automotive,” Mark Hoekstra, managing director for The Heritage Group, tells GlobeSt.com. “The way the buildings were designed, the slope of the floors, the drainage are all designed for an automotive use. We chose to keep the automotive tenants in the building, and to have no non-automotive tenants. However, you certainly could do it if you wanted to.”

Rather than change the use or go through a lengthy and expensive redevelopment project, Hoekstra instead spent $600,000 to execute a new branding concept at the property and to add national tenants to the mix. He also drove value in other more property-specific ways. “In order to have an automotive use, it requires an conditional use permit,” he explains. “Instead of requiring each tenant to get its own permit, we got a project-wide CUP and a project-wide signage program, which added value to the center. If we rent to automotive tenants, we don’t have to go to the city to get a CUP or signage approval because we invested the time and money. That was a big value-add there.”

Want to continue reading?
Become a Free ALM Digital Reader.

Once you are an ALM digital member, you’ll receive:

  • Unlimited access to GlobeSt and other free ALM publications
  • Access to 15 years of GlobeSt archives
  • Your choice of GlobeSt digital newsletters and over 70 others from popular sister publications
  • 1 free article* every 30 days across the ALM subscription network
  • Exclusive discounts on ALM events and publications

*May exclude premium content
Already have an account?

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.

More from this author


GlobeSt. NET LEASE Fall 2021Event

This conference brings together the industry's most influential & knowledgeable real estate executives from the net lease sector.

Get More Information


Join GlobeSt

Don't miss crucial news and insights you need to make informed commercial real estate decisions. Join GlobeSt.com now!

  • Free unlimited access to GlobeSt.com's trusted and independent team of experts who provide commercial real estate owners, investors, developers, brokers and finance professionals with comprehensive coverage, analysis and best practices necessary to innovate and build business.
  • Exclusive discounts on ALM and GlobeSt events.
  • Access to other award-winning ALM websites including ThinkAdvisor.com and Law.com.

Already have an account? Sign In Now
Join GlobeSt

Copyright © 2021 ALM Media Properties, LLC. All Rights Reserved.