A Southern California real estate developer is sold on the East Valley. Donahue Schriber, wh ich already owns 68 shopping centers — most of them in California — with 13 million square feet of shops, has just bought a shopping center in Gilbert and is building one in Mesa.
The company just purchased the partially developed Shoppes at Gilbert Commons, the 40-acre Kohl’s-anchored power center on the southwest corner of Cooper and Baseline roads — a prime property near the Superstition Freeway, said Donahue Schriber executive vice president Mark Whitfield.
He would not reveal the price.
The developer also is digging up dirt for The Shoppes at Highland Village, at the southeast corner of Brown and Ellsworth roads in Mesa. That center will be anchored by Bashas’, Whitfield said.
The company also has Bank One, Rosati’s Pizza, Fantastic Sam’s and Subway signed on.
"It is already 50 percent leased with neighborhood shopping center tenants," Whitfield said. The Highland Village project is expected to be ringing up sales in spring 2005, he said.
Gilbert Commons is much bigger — a lot like the company’s Summit at Scottsdale retail center. The Summit, at Ashler Hills Drive and Scottsdale Road, has 325,000 square feet of shops and restaurants anchored by Target and Safeway, and a diverse combination of stores ranging from Starbucks to upscale boutique Sherre’s Clothing, Mancuso’s Bistro to Mattress Authority, trendy Chico’s to cool favorite Cold Stone Creamery.
Gilbert Commons has snagged Old Navy, Sports Authority, Dress Barn and several other typical power center tenants.
Paul Fleming’s new concept, Paul Lee’s Chinese Kitchen, is signed up.
The East Valley’s first version of Henry’s Marketplace, Wild Oats’ farmers market-style grocery, is pegged to open in January.
Developer Vestar landed an AMC 24 movie complex at it busy Mesa Grande shopping center on the northeast corner of the same intersection. Whitfield said that helps, not hurts, business for the Gilbert shopping center, bridging the block-long gap between Gilbert Commons and the freeway and making the area an even bigger draw for shoppers.
"We see this as a strong retail hub," he said.
Several big national chains have been "coming out of the malls," and looking for new space in easy-access, open-air shopping centers, said Charles Hickcox, who heads up Donahue Schriber’s expansion in Arizona.
"Retailers like to follow transportation corridors," Hickcox said.
They also like the demographics in the East Valley, he said.
"The south East Valley is growing so fast, and wherever the people are going we’re going," Hickcox said. The company is eyeing more land in the area for purchase or development of new shopping centers, he said.
Greg Tilque, Gilbert’s economic development director, said Donahue Schriber is a respected name in the industry, and the company’s purchase of Gilbert Commons shows the value of the town’s impressive demographics.
"It’s a sign Gilbert is getting recognized as a good place to have a shopping center," he said. "We’re excited to have (Donahue Schriber) come into the market."