Photo by Max Efrein.
Originally Published: April 17, 2016 6:05 a.m.
The Prescott Gateway Mall is taking new steps to improve its position in the local marketplace.
“We’ve taken on all of the marketing and leasing in-house,” said Ed Bean, a regional property manager for Tabani Group Inc. “So now anytime a tenant or prospect is interested, they are directly communicating with the owners.”
Since the recession, various owners of the mall have been struggling to retain its tenants and attract new ones.
When Tabani Group purchased the property in late 2013, it began working with local brokers and marketing teams to keep businesses renting and fill vacant spaces.
The first year didn’t meet expectations, so they switched out their brokers and marketers. When the second year wasn’t any better, they decided to take matters into their own hands.
“Fool me once, fool me twice, the third time we’re going to do it on our own,” Bean said. “We have full control and we’re 100 percent results focused.”
Since taking on the responsibility in January, the mall has recruited five new tenants, filling about 16,000 square feet of space.
Sitting at about 6,800 square feet, the largest space being revived is the former Macayo’s location.
Barbudos Mexican Grill & Cantina, which has one location in Prescott in the Safeway shopping center off Willow Creek Road, has agreed to open a second location in the space.
“The ownership at the mall are really stepping up right now,” said Rex Edwards, the primary owner of Barbudos. “They gave us a deal we just can’t refuse.”
They just finished signing the paperwork this week and they’re hoping to host their grand opening sometime in mid-May.
“The mall purchased all of the equipment from Macayaos when it left, so everything is pretty much still there,” Edwards said. “All we have to do is clean up the place and hire the employees.”
Another large space being filled is where Kirkland’s used to be near the round-about on the exterior of the mall. That nearly 6,000-square-foot unit will be the new home to Miller Valley Indoor Art Market.
The store has been located in Prescott off Miller Valley Road for more than four years, but the owner of the property is selling to a currently unknown buyer who apparently has other plans for that building.
The store’s owner, Julie Adams, said she found the mall appealing because it “was offering some amazing deals.”
To draw these businesses in, Bean said they’re offering a number of attractive incentives, such as free rent at certain periods of time and occasionally providing tenants the opportunity to build out their space — all of which is contingent upon the type and financial stability of the business showing interest.
“We’re not worried about getting a pay check,” Bean said. “We’re worried about the longevity of the mall.”
Adams is going through the moving process right now and hopes to be up and running by June 1. She’ll rename the business The Prescott Art Market. She said she’ll continue to focus on hosting local artists and only selling items made in the U.S.
Another business that has signed on is called Salon EN-V. The business is remodeling a space inside the mall at this time.
The mall has also leased out two food court tenants. One will be a coffee bistro somewhat similar to the one that used to be there called My Cup Runneth Over, Bean said. The other will provide some general fast food options and take up the space previously occupied by Flaming Wok. Both are tentatively scheduled to open May 1.
Bean couldn’t go into too much detail yet, but he said there is a promising tenant looking at filling the former Barnes & Noble space as well, which is about 26,000 square feet.
“It’s under LOI (letter of intent),” Bean said. “We can’t release the name at this point because we’re still in negotiation on the actual lease terms, but things look very positive and we should be able to announce something to the public in the next 60 days.”
Bean said they foresee another 10,000-to-15,000 square feet coming on line in the next 60 to 90 days.
They are currently looking at two jewelry store options to fill their two turn-key jewelry spaces within the interior of the mall and working on finding a restaurant to lease out the space on the backside of the building shared by Wildflower, which was last occupied by Celtic Crossings.
“We’re mainly going to focus on the service needs of it, which would be jewelry, salon and food, and then we’re going to continue to progress and move hopefully into the retail component as well.”
Follow Max Efrein on Twitter @mefrein. Reach him at 928-445-3333 ext. 1105, or 928-642-7864.