CBM’s Retail Shopping Center Management & Leasing Blog

Retail Real Estate News & Trends in Southern California

16182 Pacific Coast Hwy, Huntington Beach, CA

Centers Business Management (CBM) leasing agents, Jason Ross and Aaron Guido, recently completed a lease transaction representing the tenant, Surf City Coffee, on a 1,485 SQFT freestanding retail building. The unit is in a building on the Pacific Coast Hwy, just south of Anaheim Bay, positioned between the Pacific Ocean shoreline and Huntington Harbor. The site backs up to the marina and the enormous residential development situated along the harbor waters. Nearby upscale tenants include Katin Surf Shop, Don The Beachcomber, Glow Hot Yoga Studio, Shoreline Hookah Lounge, and more.

1886 ½ S. Pacific Coast Hwy, Redondo Beach, CA

Centers Business Management (CBM) Valley Division Director, Dave O’Connell, and leasing agent, Zac Ryburn, recently completed a lease transaction representing the landlord in a deal with Wild Birds Unlimited, a local bird feed and supply store, on a 2,025 SQFT retail space. The unit is in a large community shopping center at the intersection of Pacific Coast Hwy and Prospect Avenue in prime Redondo Beach. The newer, well-maintained center is anchored by CVS and features a diverse co-tenant mix, including Subway, Corner Bakery, Supercuts, and more. Additionally, a well-patronized ARCO gas station is positioned on a pad space at the property’s hard corner.

Los Angeles, CA – April 2018, Centers Business Management (CBM) completes new leasing transactions with expanding pet supply retailer, Centinela Feed & Pet Supplies on Beach Boulevard in prime Huntington Beach.

CBM leasing agents, Aaron Guido, representing the landlord, and Jason Ehrenpreis, representing the tenant, recently completed a new 10-year lease with Centinela Feed & Pet Supplies on busy Beach Boulevard in the heart of Huntington Beach. Centinela Feed will be occupying an 8,100+ SQFT space in a sizable neighborhood center just south of Main Street. The well-located center is situated immediately adjacent to the Elan apartment complex, a newly constructed 6-story, mixed-use development. The impressive structure features 274 apartment residences positioned above ground floor retail, home to a variety of notable tenants, including Scottrade (securities brokerage), Floyd’s Barber Shop, Creamistry (artisanal ice cream maker), and more.

Centinela Feed & Pet Supplies began on Centinela Avenue in what is now the West Los Angeles community of Mar Vista, in the 1930s. The parents of current owners, Chris and Dwight Nakagawa, purchased the store in 1974, and business has remained family owned ever since. When Chris Nakagawa formally took over the business in 1987, Centinela began slowly expanding, opening its second store in 1989. Centinela currently operates 16 stores in total, with two more locations slated for launch this year. Looking toward the future, Centinela intends to secure a third site before the close of 2018, and aim to open three additional locations in 2019.

“Though an end-cap space fronting onto busy Beach Boulevard, the unit is quite large, not mention an odd layout,” says CBM leasing agent, Aaron Guido, adding “the landlord had elevated expectations for the center,” speaking to the property owners hopes to secure an aggressive rental rate and qualified credit tenant. These two factors ensured leasing the unit would be a challenge. Centinela, however, proved an ideal tenant. “Centinela was willing to take the entire space, despite the excess square footage” Guido notes, adding “They agreed upon a highly competitive lease rate on a ten-year deal, balanced with tenant improvement dollars and rent abatement.”

By “Exercising ample creative vision, Centinela saw a path to making use of the space, and was willing to accept the unusual layout,” asserts CBM leasing agent, Jason Ehrenpreis, Centinela’s exclusive representative broker. “Additional storage for stock, along with entertaining the possibility of offering grooming, kennel boarding, and other pet-care related services are all options Centinela considered in their decision to lease the space,” Ehrenpreis reports. Ehrenpreis also notes: “This is Centinela 2nd deal in OC in the last few months,” underscoring the retailer’s continued efforts to “expand their Orange County presence.” And the center’s exceptional Beach Boulevard visibility and prominent positioning next the mixed-use Elan development renders it an ideal location for Centinela’s hopes to further raise its OC profile.

“This deal is proof there’s a tenant for EVERY space!” proclaims CBM President, Rick Rivera. “Whether we’re talking about landlords or tenants, everyone wants what they want,” Rivera observes, concluding “And it’s our job as brokers to bridge the gap, and craft a mutually beneficial compromise, which we clearly achieved in this case.” Though many retail-based businesses have been afflicted by rising eCommerce sales, Rivera notes: “Pet supply has rebounded thanks to astute customer care and in-store offering pet-related service offerings,” in reference to Centinela’s continued stability and robust plans for future growth.

For more information about CBM and their retail leasing and property management services, please contact: Rick Rivera 310.575.1517 x201 | rickr@cbm1.com.


If you’re like many retail landlords, you have an “ideal tenant” in mind for the vacancy that just popped up in your shopping center.

With all due respect, however, your perspective a likely off the mark. That’s not to say you don’t know your property. Undoubtedly, you know it better than ANYONE.

But knowing your property isn’t the same thing as understanding…

== > How these tenants synergize with your existing tenants
== > Area residential / daytime population and average annual household income demographics
== > The tenant-types that succeed in this area
== > The tenant-types actively seeking space in this area
== > Typical monthly budget
== > And what deal incentives (TIs, free rent, options, annual increases, etc…) these tenants seeking

See what we mean? There are a fist full of crucial factors to consider in the tenant selection process.

And toward that end, here are the four key elements to keep in mind when you’re weighing potential retail tenants to fill a vacancy in your shopping center:

Does the Tenant Synergize with Existing Tenants?

When it comes to selecting a tenant, synergy is the FIRST + MOST IMPORTANT consideration. No matter how sexy a tenant may appear, if their use overlaps with or fails to support existing tenants, you’re headed for trouble.

For example…

A gadget or computer repair store and cell phone sales + service store synergize beautifully.

But two competing cell phone service providers are likely to negatively impact the sales for one outlet or the other. And never mind that both are likely to demand exclusives.

On the same coin, a gadget repair store is likely to cannibalize a computer repair stores business and vice versa. And exclusives may be an issue in this scenario, too.

Similarly, with restaurants, co-tenancy among like ethnic foods is destined to create issues…

Imagine a center with Persian, Lebanese, and Greek restaurants. Or a center with Chinese, Thai, and Vietnamese restaurants.

The strong similarities between these cuisines will inevitably impact sales among the group. One restaurant is bound to rise above the others, and ultimately squelch their ailing competitors’ business.

The point here being, tenants that dovetail with one another, rather infringe, create synergy. Thus, an ideal prospective tenant synergizes with your existing tenants

What Tenant-Types Succeed in The Area?

Average annual household income, ethnic + racial makeup, and relative geographical location all factor into the potential margin for success for any prospective retail tenant.

Income Demographics

About 18 months ago, a check cashing location opened on Santa Monica Boulevard, just West of the 405 Freeway. In other words, in the heart of West Los Angeles, an exceptionally affluent community.

Meanwhile, the nicely built-out location, for which the landlord likely forfeited free rent in lieu of tenant improvement dollars, closed up shop six months later.

Check cashers are not in-demand tenants in more affluent communities whose residents are unlikely to be living paycheck-to-paycheck, they’re paychecks are probably transmitted via direct deposit, and they’relikely to bank with a mainstream financial institution.

Ethic + Racial Demographics

Let’s say a Mexican restaurant opens in a predominately Asian community, or vice versa, a Chinses restaurant opens in a predominately Hispanic area.
Now, arguably Mexican + Chinese foods both hold some universal appeal. But that appeal generally only applies to diverse communities or communities that don’t foster definitive cultural identities.

Relative Geographical Location

Now, this may sound like a rather ham-fisted analogy, but you wouldn’t open a surf store in downtown Los Angeles. Whereas, in Santa Monica, just blocks from the beach, is a no-brainer for such a business.

Similarly, fast food restaurants and gas stations are ideally suited to surround freeway on/off ramps. But out in the middle of nowhere, down some back-country road, such establishments make no good sense.

In short, proximity to geographical landmarks, whether natural or man-made, are key considerations in qualifying an ideal tenant.

What Tenant-Types Are Actively Seeking Space in the Area?

Restaurants currently rank among the HOTTEST retail tenant segments. But how many restaurants can a given area support? Eventually, a community is bound to reach a saturation point.

In such circumstances, restaurant tenants are unlikely candidates for your vacancy.

Conversely, a given location may be underserved. In 2016, restaurant sales exceed grocery store sales, a key factor driving current restaurant expansion. And if your property is in an area with a dearth of restaurants, a restaurant tenant is exactly the prescription for your vacancy!

What’s the Typical Monthly Budget of Tenants Active in Your Area?

In the end, it boils down to dollars and cents. A given business only generates so much income. As such, tenants can only pay so much in rent + CAMs. Beyond a certain threshold, the business ceases to be profitable and won’t last.

Understanding how much income certain businesses generate is critical to meeting retail-rate expectations.

What Incentives Are Suitable Area Tenants Looking For?

Tenant improvement (TI) dollars? Free rent in lieu of TI funds? Additional incentives for longer-term leases?

Awareness of the incentive specific tenant types and tenants operating in your center’s areas are seeking is a crucial factor in attracting the right tenants.

Additionally, understanding how to leverage those incentives is a critical component of lease negotiations.

Need Help Sourcing the RIGHT Tenant for Your Vacancy?

As you can see, MANY elements factor into placing the “ideal tenant” in your latest vacancy.

The good news is, you don’t have to wrestle with these issues! Instead, you can hire a qualified professional to lease your space for you.

And that’s where CBM comes in! Our leasing team is on top of all the factors outlined above and spend their days pursuing tenants to fill vacancies, just like yours.

For additional information on CBM’s leasing services, visit: cbm1.com/services.

12050-54 West Street, Garden Grove, CA

Centers Business Management (CBM) leasing agent, David Levcovitch, recently completed a lease transaction representing the landlord and tenant, a local coffee shop, on a 2,200 SQFT retail space. The property is on West Street, just east of Chapman in prime Garden Grove. The busy mid-block center features a diverse tenant mix, including mini-market, Zumba dance studio, nail salon, thrift store and more.

CBM is proud to announce Dave O’Connell, Jason Ehrenpreis, and David Levcovitch have earned 2017 CoStar Power Broker Awards.

Thanks to the superlative efforts of these outstanding agents, in addition to the hard work by the rest of our industry-leading retail leasing team, CBM as a whole completed 288 leasing transactions in 2017.

This exceptionally high transaction volume scored CBM yet another firm-wide CoStar Power Broker Award. This latest win marks our 9th consecutive Power Broker Award.

For more details, read CoStar’s 2017 Power Broker Awards recap…

CBM’s own Geoff Grossman penned an article featured in the latest edition of Shopping Center Business – a leading retail real estate trade publication.

In the article, entitled “All Hail The Rise Of The Strip Center,” Mr. Grossman offers his insights on coming trends in the net lease arena. And opines on why now is the best time in history to own strip center retail real estate!

Check out the full article in April issue of Shopping Center Business

by Geoff Grossman

The internet is GREAT at a LOT of things…

Probably seems like the understatement of the millennium, huh? The World Wide Web has revolutionized communication, spawned entire new industries, and killed off quite a few trades, too.

In short, the web has fundamentally alternated the fabric of our society at large, not to mention drastically reshaped much of the business world, and commerce as a whole.

Real Estate and the Internet…

The impact of the internet upon commerce is CLEARLY evident in real estate.

One of the initial adopters of what, at the time, was a rudimentary form of the internet, early Multiple Listing Services put entire market inventories literally at the fingertips of every real estate agent working that market.

Few in the business now remember a time when there was no such thing as “comprehensive inventory list.” A time when agents relied on manually published lists share office-to-office and person-to-person. And local newspapers SINGULARLY DOMINATED real estate advertising.

Landlord + Tenant Deal-Direct Listing Services

Nowadays, beyond just the MLS, there are direct-to-consumer real estate listing and search tools. Landlords can list retail space and tenants can locate said space entirely online. An approach that ostensibly eliminates the need for a broker.

Marketing Vs Sales – Where an Actual Broker Defeats the Internet

But while this so-called “revolution” in real estate seemingly saves landlords on commissions (and potentially lowers rental rates for tenants based on those commissions savings), it forgets the fundamental HUMAN factors that have driven real estate since the very first property ever changed hands.

Yes, the internet is an exceptional marketing tool. Perhaps the greatest our society has yet to devise. But there is an essential difference between MARKETING and SALES. And in the real estate game, there is no better SALES tool than a real live broker.

How so? Well, friends, that’s the central question at play here. And to answer this query, here are four reasons a why a broker is every landlord’s most invaluable sales tool…

Information on its Own Only Has So Much Value…

The internet is GREAT at cataloging information. You can find ANYTHING + EVERYTHING. In fact, online you can stumble across lots you’d rather never have known even existed.

And the internet is great a making vast stores of knowledge immediately accessible. It’s all there, literally at your fingertips.

But information alone is just a pile of facts… You could exhaustively research the three laws of Thermodynamics. But if you’re like most people, that wouldn’t get you any closer to a thorough grasp of physics. For that, you’d need a knowledgeable expert to interpret and explain the material in language that someone short of Ph.D. in theoretical physics could understand.

Similarly, you could compile a list of every 1,500 SQFT retail unit for lease in Los Angeles. But that wouldn’t tell which vacancy genuinely suited your purposes. You’d need a knowledgeable expert to help you make that determination.

Information Vs. Persuasion

As stated above, the internet makes it easy for tenants to determine space availability. Anyone can hop online and pull up a relatively comprehensive list or the retail space available in a given market or even variety of markets.

But again, that’s just a big pile of info. The internet opens the door and peaks interest. But posting your vacancy online doesn’t persuade, it doesn’t close the deal.

That requires a knowledgeable sales professional…

The Value of a Sales PROFESSIONAL

A sales agent offers far more than just facts. An agent knows a property, intimately. An agent knows the tenants in and around the center. Understands the community and surrounding areas. And has a strong grasp on the type of tenant that will thrive or wither in a particular property and given location.

The qualification process, which is the ultimate deciding factor in any retail lease, resides solely with the leasing agent. The internet can’t help you evaluate a prospective tenant’s financial position, track record, or ultimate viability in particular property or broader location.

A Stake in the Final Outcome

The internet doesn’t care one way or another whether you lease your vacancy. It’s just a catalog of information. The internet persists irrespective of your circumstances.

A leasing agent, on the other hand, has skin in the game.

An agent…

== > Is motivated to lease your property as expediently as possible – because that’s how they get PAID…

== > Has vested interest in placing a viable tenant guaranteed to survive over the long haul – lest they must re-lease the vacancy after a failed tenant departs for little or no additional compensation…

== > Strives to do the best job possible – because they want to earn your repeat business and referrals thanks to you sharing your satisfaction with fellow landlords and real estate investors.

The CBM Difference…

These days, most leasing and sales brokerages provide agents with a phone + computer, and turn them loose. Meanwhile, most of those agents spend the majority of their time hanging around the office, waiting for leads to fall into their lap.

Because it’s the “internet age,” right? So, everything comes to you. Not hardly.

At CBM, “Old School Methods” of retail leasing reign supreme!

So, what does that look like, practically speaking? Our agents are…

== > In the car, driving their territories. Every day. Day after day…

== > Out canvasing, meeting + greeting, glad-handing, passing out flyers, and generally seeing and being seen in their marketplaces…

== > And actively sourcing new listings and potential tenants.

Our agents are NOT…

== > Hanging around the office, playing on the computer, waiting for the phone to ring.

Need Assistance Leasing Your Shopping Center?

If the CBM method of retail leasing appeals to you, find out at: cbm1.com/services.

About the Author

Geoff Grossman, a senior retail broker, joined Centers Business Management (CBM) in 1999. Mr. Grossman primarily handles landlord representation, specializing in retail leasing and investment sales throughout Southern California.

Los Angeles, CA – April 2018, Centers Business Management (CBM) takes over management of four retail storefronts on Abbot Kinney Boulevard, near Venice Boulevard, in the prime West Los Angeles community of Venice Beach.

003-5311393-smallCBM recently took charge of property management on a four-unit storefront parcel at 1504-1508 Abbot Kinney Boulevard, one block north of Venice Boulevard, in the heart of Venice Beach. This eclectic neighborhood, a fabulously Bohemian community, is one of West Los Angeles’ most culturally distinctive regions. Home to the famed “Muscle Beach” and ever-popular Venice boardwalk, a long-time favorite tourist destination, Venice now also hosts the headquarters of popular social media app, Snap (formerly Snapchat). Thus, in addition to its tourist appeal, the neighborhood has also evolved into a bedroom community serving the area tech-boom, which has lately seen Venice dubbed “Silicon Beach.”

Abbot Kinney Boulevard serves as the community’s primary retail trade hub, home to countless fashionable boutique retailers, hip cafes, and trendy eateries. The storefronts CBM is now managing hosts four high-end retail outlets, including Aesop, a custom bath, body and skin care product manufacturer; Fiorentini + Baker, an artisan shoemaker that crafts shoes from repurposed vintage goods; Made in Earth, handcrafted jewelry fashioned from crystals and other natural materials; and Satine, a BoHo women’s clothing boutique.

006-5310191-small“Abbot Kinney is unique, in the true sense of the word… The funky-hippie-locals, the new money Snapchat crowd, out-of-town tourists, and everyday Angelenos all coverage on Abbot Kinney,” says Pamela Ozell, senior property manager now overseeing the parcel. “And retail, especially high-end boutiques and upscale cafes, are BOOMING in the midst of this eclectic melting pot! And those are the type of businesses in the parcel I’m now managing,” Ozell adds in reference to Venice’s continuing transformation into an upscale retail hotspot and popular leisure destination.

004-5310193-small“Many of the older, character buildings and shops, which the parcel we now manage represent, have been demolished and replaced with far more contemporary-styled structures,” notes Rick Rivera, CBM President. “But regardless of whether sites host character buildings or modern construction, area rents and property values have SKYROCKETED! Which is a huge boon to landlords and real estate investors alike,” Rivera adds underscoring Venice’s growing appeal among savvy real estate investors.

For more information about CBM and their retail leasing and property management services, please contact: Rick Rivera 310.575.1517 x201 | rickr@cbm1.com.

Centers Business Management (CBM) leasing agent, Jason Ehrenpreis, recently completed a lease transaction representing landlord and tenant, a local Boba cafe, on 1,977 SQFT retail space. The end-cap unit is in an exterior food court adjacent to an Edwards Cinemas theater on Mountain Avenue at the 10 Freeway in prime Ontario.