If ever a shopping center was proof that bad things can happen to good projects, it’s Mesa Ranch Plaza in Mesa, AZ. Local developer Diversified Partners LLC had an idea for a uniquely positioned retail center to serve the emerging regional Hispanic community. Anchored by Pro’s Ranch Market and La Curacao, along with a concentration of specialty retail and services specifically targeted toward that demographic, the 214,400-square-foot project had everything it needed to become one of the region’s dominant destinations for this particular market segment.

The year was 2008 and the center was about to open. Pro’s Ranch Market signed on to lease about 61,000- plus square feet, La Curacao was committed to a 100,000-square-foot box, and the remaining shop space was also pretty well leased, around 70%. After going through the entire building process, signing a lease, agreeing on TIs and getting keys in hand to start putting in registers and inventory, La Curacao pulled out of the deal at the last minute. The result? Keybank, the lead lender on the project, foreclosed on the center in 2010.

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