Vestar Development Co., representative David Malin spoke before the Oro Valley Town Council last week, giving an update on tenants at the Oro Valley Marketplace.
Councilman Bill Garner requested the update on the 850,000-square-foot shopping center at Tangerine and Oracle roads, where store openings are expected to begin in October.
Garner cited inconsistencies about potential tenants on company Web sites.
“I want to make sure we are robust in our retail,” Garner told Malin at the Sept. 3 council meeting.
The town and Vestar have a tax-sharing agreement for the retail center. That deal gives Vestar a $23 million share of sales taxes generated at the site throughout the 16-year contract. A previous town council approved the tax-sharing agreement in 2004. Mayor Paul Loomis and Councilwoman Paula Abbott were on the council at the time. Both voted against the contract.
Malin read a list of 26 retailers and restaurants that have signed leases with the company, including Wal-Mart Supercenter.
Perhaps as few as three or four of the large retail spaces at Oracle and Tangerine roads remain, Malin told the council.
Garner asked if stores such as Old Navy, Michael’s, Staples or Bevmo have signed leases as well. Those stores have appeared on tenant lists on company Web sites.
The retailers remain potential prospects, Malin said, but have not committed to opening at Oro Valley Marketplace.
Recently, the company hired a marketing firm to help attract what Malin called “lifestyle retail,” but with little success.
“That segment, with the economy we’re in, is completely stagnant,” Malin said.
Lifestyle-retail centers have grown in popularity throughout the country since the late 1990s. These shopping centers usually feature open-air settings intended to attract affluent shoppers. Lifestyle centers often have a mix of clothing, sporting goods, home furnishings and restaurants.
At 850,000 square feet, Oro Valley Marketplace is larger than most lifestyle centers, which usually max out at about 500,000 square feet.
Regional examples of lifestyle centers include Scottsdale’s Kierland Commons and Pima County’s La Encantada at Skyline Drive and Campbell Avenue.
Councilwoman Abbott asked Malin if he was willing to return after six months to brief the council on projected revenue at the mall.
“No, I won’t be,” Malin replied, surprised by the request. His expertise, he explained, does not center on economics or revenue projections. He would, however, return again to discuss tenants.
Confirmed tenants at Oro Valley Marketplace
Cold Stone Creamery
Cost Plus World Market
Danny’s Gourmet Market
Dick’s Sporting Goods
Marcusi Nail Spa
Styles for Less
The Keg Steakhouse