CBM’s Retail Shopping Center Management & Leasing Blog

Retail Real Estate News & Trends in Southern California

Centers Business Management (CBM) leasing agent, Jason Ehrenpreis, recently completed a lease transaction representing landlord and tenant, a local chiropractor, on 1,400 SQFT retail space. The unit is a Denny’s anchored mid-block community center on Devonshire, between Balboa + Amestoy in prime Northridge. The sizable center’s co-tenants include Hertz car rental and Panda Express Chinese take-out, along with a variety of other food and service-oriented businesses.

Centers Business Management (CBM) leasing agent, David Levcovitch, recently completed a lease transaction representing the landlord and tenant, 7-Eleven, on a 2,175 SQFT retail space. The unit is in neighborhood center on 3rd Street that stretches the entire block between Catalina and Kenmore, just west of Vermont, in prime central Los Angeles, adjacent to Downtown LA. The center’s co-tenants include T-Mobile (cell phone sales + service), along with a variety of restaurants and service-oriented tenants. The site is directly across the street from a high volume sales Jon’s Marketplace grocery store.

Centers Business Management (CBM) leasing agents, Geoff Grossman + Jason Ehrenpreis, complete lease transaction representing the landlord and tenant, 7-Eleven, on 28,407 SQFT lot for a ground-up gas station and convenience store. The property is at the corner of Slauson and Telegraph, at the Slauson 5 Freeway entrance, in prime Montebello. The well-located site is situated across Slauson from a Valero gas station and on the opposite corner from a Starbucks drive-thru coffee café.

Centers Business Management (CBM) leasing agents, Geoff Grossman and Aaron Guido, recently completed a lease transaction representing the landlord and tenant, a local bakery, on a 2,182 SQFT retail space. The unit is a mid-block strip center situated on high-traffic Clark Avenue, just east of Spring Street, across from a massive office park that stretches several blocks along Clark Avenue.

Another ICSC Idea Exchange is in the books!

With nearly 1,000 CRE professionals, related service vendors, and municipalities in attendance, this was one of the Southern California Idea Exchange’s biggest gatherings ever.

This year’s Idea Exchange saw a look, new location, and a leap in attendance + exhibitor participation over last year’s go-around. Now that ICSC’s Western Division Conference has found a new home at the Los Angeles Convention Center, ICSC organizers chose to relocate the annual Southern California Idea Exchange to the Anaheim Convention Center. Just a block over from Downtown Disney, the convention center looms over the back side of Disney’s California Adventure theme park.

And with 870+ pre-registered (a 300+ attendee jump over last year’s tally of 520) and 120 exhibitors (30 more than last year’s 90 total exhibitors) clearly, the change of scenery was a positive shift!

As usual, CBM exhibited at the event, hosting the table you see above. And our talented team of industry-leading retail leasing agents + property managers were on in hand in force, meeting and greeting all comers.

If we didn’t see year this year, hopefully, we’ll catch the next time around. Stay tuned!

In a recent post, we outlined the legal steps necessary to remove a homeless person from your shopping center.

But as that post illustrated, taking the legal route is a time consuming, arduous, and often ineffective approach… Unfortunately, many homeless habitually return to centers over and over, even after an arrest and jail stay, which is usually short (as trespassing is a misdemeanor charge).

This is largely because a great many homeless are mentally unstable and tend to frequent locales they’re familiar with or comfortable in.

So, if legal action is a stalemate, what’s the solution to keeping the homeless off your property?

Here are seven strategies that have proved successful in discouraging homeless from taking up residence at retail shopping centers:

Redesign Landscaping

Large bushes and shrubbery positioned alongside buildings make for excellent blinds. The homeless can hide or sleep behind such vegetation day or night..

Alternatively, succulents (for ground cover) and palm trees eliminate convenient hiding places.

Diligently Trim Landscaping

But what if a complete landscape replacement planting is NOT in your budget (which is certainly true for many)? Attentive landscaping maintenance is your next best alternative.

Regularly pruning bushes and shrubbery, ensuring they’re lean and trimmed back goes a long way toward eliminating common hiding places for would-be homeless campers.

Secure Dumpsters, Trash Enclosures, Storage Sheds, and Other Out Buildings

Just about every strip center has a dumpster for trash and recycling collection. And many have trash enclosures (technically intended to keep people out of dumpsters), well others also feature storage sheds or other out buildings.

Unfortunately, these containers and storage areas are among the most popular hiding spots and sleep quarters for homeless campers. Ensuring such containers and areas are always under lock + key provides a strong deterrent.

Restricting Access to Any Areas Open to Potential Loitering

Many strip centers have overhangs and alcoves in various places around the building exterior.

Gating, fencing or otherwise limiting access to these areas eliminates another hiding and sleeping spot popular among homeless campers.

Preventative Maintenance

The clutter of litter and trash gives a property an unkempt aura. And such locations seem to invite transients, as they tune into the vibe that: “no one maintains this property, so no one will bother me here.” Moreover, homeless tend to blend into poorly maintained centers, appearing to be part of the property’s “natural landscape.”

The presence of homeless is quite apparent, however, at a property that’s clean, clear and well-maintained.

As such, keeping your property clean and well-maintained is another strong deterrent.

Onsite Security or Security Patrol

If homeless loitering or camping at your center is a particularly egregious problem, and the legal route has proven ineffective, private security is another option.

Of course, you would bill the service back to your tenants as a CAM expense. Given the added cost, however, private security only makes sense if tenants agree the homeless presence is a strong detriment to their business, and security is only reliable recourse.

But keep in mind, there are options to mitigate costs. A regular security patrol is a lower cost alternative to permanently installing a security guard onsite.

Proactive Response Plan

Whether you’ve gone the legal route and have a standing police order, contract with private security, or have designated a property manager to deal with the homeless, defining a specific response plan is a useful tool.

If a tenant notices a loitering transient, who do should they contact first? And how is the response escalated from there?

A swift and consistent response is often an effective deterrent to homeless occupation of your center.

Need Help Clearing the Homeless From Your Shopping Center or Managing Other Aspects of Your Retail Property?

For many retrial strip centers, homeless are a fact of life. And any hope of completing eliminating the problem is unlikely to come to pass.

But as outlined above, there are strategies to mitigate the problem. And hiring a professional property management firm can help!

A property manager can…

== > Solicit competitive landscaping bids, should you decide to redesign your landscaping.

== > Monitor landscaping and oversee vendors to ensure your center’s vegetation remains trimmed and lean.

== > Monitor dumpsters, trash enclosures, and other storage facilities to ensure they’re clear homeless intruders and locked up tight.

== > Monitor sweeping and trash collection vendors to ensure your property remains clean and clear of trash and other debris.

== > Solicit bids for security services, should you decide to hire private security.

== > Act as the contact point-person in your proactive response plan, initiating either police or security contact.

Meanwhile, this is a just thin sliver of the services professional property management provides.

For More Information on CBM’s Property Management Services…

Visit our Services page at cbm1.com/services.

Los Angeles, CA – January 2018, Centers Business Management (CBM) acquires new leasing and property management account on Santa Monica Boulevard, near Sepulveda Boulevard + 405 Freeway, in prime West LA location.

CBM recently took over leasing and property management of a strip center at 11031 Santa Monica Boulevard in the heart of West Los Angeles. This well-located trophy property is situated just east of Sepulveda Boulevard and the 405 freeway, adjacent to Westwood Village and the nearby UCLA campus. Boasting exceptional curb appeal, this 23,400 SQFT high visibility neighborhood center is anchored by Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf and features a diverse tenant mix that includes successful local chains, Salad Farm and Pita Café, high-end sushi Hamasku, Carvel Ice Cream, and a convenience store, among others.

“Demand for high [retail] identity space is absolutely booming! Meanwhile, properties that fit the bill are in criminally short supply,” says Jason Ehrenpreis, senior retail leasing agent currently listing the center. By way of example, Ehrenpreis notes: “This listing hasn’t officially hit the market, and attention is already soaring,” further adding: “Retail space in well-located centers, like this property, are EXACTLY what niche restaurants and small format service businesses [currently the most active segment among strip center tenants] are pining for.”

“The landlord, who only resides in Southern California part-time, previously self-managed the property,” says Pamela Ozell, senior property manager now managing the center, “But the task just became too overwhelming.” Ozell adds: “Many independent strip center landlords are struggling to manage their own properties as city bureaucracy grows, constantly ushering new and increasingly onerous regulations and compliance measures, along with growing sophistication and greater demands, even among smaller tenants.”

“Amid the ‘fake news’ headlines falsely touting the ‘death of retail,’ this property proves well-located real estate is an ENDURING asset!” proclaims Rick Rivera, CBM President, adding “Tenants are desperate for space like this.” Rivera also notes: “The current crop of retail tenants may favor different use-types than we’ve seen in the past. But businesses are opening, expanding, and growing. And the demand for retail shop space, especially in desirable locations, is as active as ever,” Rivera offers as evidence of what he sees as a flourishing retail market.

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, Kelly Harrison, recently completed a lease transaction representing the landlord and tenant, Liberty Tax, a regional tax preparator franchise, on a 976 SQFT retail space. The unit is in a corner strip center at the signalized intersection of Victory and Fulton in prime Van Nuys. The center’s notable co-tenants include a UPS Store, Metro PCS (cellphone sales + services, and popular local Mexican Restaurant, Vallarta Grill.

Centers Business Management (CBM) leasing agent, David Levcovitch, recently completed a lease transaction representing the landlord and tenant, an independent insurance agency, on a 900 SQFT retail space. The unit is in a newer, well-maintained corner strip center on high profile Ventura Boulevard, just west of Fallbrook Avenue. Boasting exceptional curb appeal, the neighborhood center’s co-tenants include Val SURF and Sneakerland, in addition to a host of diverse service-oriented businesses.

Centers Business Management (CBM) leasing agent, Jason Ehrenpreis, recently completed a lease transaction representing landlord in a deal with Mathnasium (children’s Tutoring) on a 2,000 SQFT retail space. The unit is in a newer, 3-story shopping center at the intersection of Lake and Mendocino in prime Altadena. Boasting exceptional curb appeal, the Chase Bank anchored center also hosts an Allstate Insurance office, and is situated along a bustling retail corridor in the heart of Altadena’s primary commercial district.