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Shopping Center banks on Latinos

Targeted marketing helped plaza sew up major retailers quickly.

Valley shopping centers are experiencing the brunt of the recession, as those feeling the economy's pinch curb their spending to make ends meet. But at least one Southeast Valley shopping center is banking on a recent national trend to help ensure the new ventures success; target Latinos. Unlike some other Valley shopping centers, which have noted the exodus of retailers, Mesa Ranch Plaza is filling up quickly and is set to open in May.

The Hinkson Company developers believe the 20-acre, $25 million center at the northwestern corner of Stapley Drive and Southern Avenue will answer the needs of Mesa's growing Hispanic population.

The East Valley city's Hispanic population grew by 70 percent from 2000-06, according to U.S. Census Bureau estimates, compared with a spurt of 20 percent between 1990 and 2000.

Further, a survey conducted last year by the Selig Center for Economic Growth at the University of Georgia estimated that in 2009, Hispanic consumers will represent 9 percent of all U.S. buying power, up from 5.2 percent in 1990. The report, "The Multicultural Economy," estimated Hispanic buying power at $923 billion last year.

It's no surprise, then, that shopping centers and even larger-scale malls throughout the nation - including ventures in Phoenix; Kansas City, Mo; Tulsa, Okla.; and Salt Lake City - are targeting the nation's largest and fastest - growing minority group in an effort to combat sluggish sales.

by Angelique Soenarie - Feb. 26, 2009 Arizona Business Gazette

New shopping center follows eastward shift of Mesa Hispanics

While shopping centers are becoming vacant in Mesa, one is filling up and is expected to attract Latino customers from East and West Mesa as well as Gilbert and other parts of the Southeast Valley.

Construction for the 20-acre Mesa Ranch Plaza, a $25 million shopping center at the northwest corner of Stapley Drive and Southern Avenue will be complete in two weeks, its developers say.

The stylish center developed by The Hinkson Company will answer the needs of a growing Hispanic population in Mesa that is expanding toward the eastern part of the city. Mesa's Hispanic population grew by 70 percent from 2000-2006, according to the U.S. Census Bureau estimates. In the previous decade, from 1990 - 2000, the Hispanic population grew by 20 percent.

A survey last year by the Selig Center for Economic Growth at the University of Georgia estimated that Hispanic consumers in 2009 will represent 9 percent of all U.W. buying power, up from 5.2 percent in 1990. The report, The Multicultural Economy, estimated Hispanic buying power was $923 bullion last year.

Mesa officials hope to capture some of that economic power with two of the center's tenants. Pro's Ranch Market, a 65,000 - square-foot Hispanic grocer, and La Curacao, a 100,000-square-foot electronic retailer, will be the center's two anchors. The Hispanic grocery chain and electronic store, both popular in the Hispanic community, will be the first in Mesa.

Another popular tenant is Pollo Campero, a Guatemalan-based fast-food chain know for its citrus-infused season chicken. Other tenants include Anna's Linens, Gen-Ex clothing store and T-mobile.

The tenants appear to following the migration of Latino customers as they move eastward. Traditionally, the Hispanic population has been concentrated in West Mesa, but city officials are beginning to notice a shift.

"I think a lot of the growth is the central Broadway (Road) corridor going toward Gilbert Road and east," said Mesa City Council member Dennis Kavanaugh.

"There is no question about that. I think the percentage increase (in the Hispanic population) has been city wide and was most notable with the conversion of businesses along the Broadway," Kavanaugh said.

"If you are a successful business you are not going to ignore a target market that is a significant part of your community that does have a substantial buying power," he said.

"Thats why were seeing the specialty stores targeting that market...I think the market investors in the market are recognizing the ready return from this target population." The Mesa Ranch Plaza is just one of the specialty businesses opening in the coming months.

Sunset Plaza at Southern Avenue and Country Club Drive will be home to a Julio Cesar Chavez Cameones, a boxing themed restaurant and entertainment venue and an out-of-state grocery chain that markets to the Hispanic community.

by Angelique Soenarie - Feb. 11, 2009 08:26 AM The Arizona Republic

Ranked #6th largest Commercial RE Developer in Arizona

2007 The Business Journal The List Commercial Developers (Ranked on Square Feet Developed) Diversified Partners Development Company was Ranked #6th largest Commercial REal Estate Developer in Arizona.

Wal - Mart Supercenter located at 1606 S. Signal Butte Rd. will open Monday, Jan 22 at 8:00 a.m.

MESA, Ariz., Jan. 12, 2007 Two Wal-Mart Supercenters will soon open their doors to the Mesa community. A Wal-Mart Supercenter located at 240 W. Baseline Rd. will open Friday, Jan. 19 at 8:00 a.m. Another Wal-Mart Supercenter located at 1606 S. Signal Butte Rd. will open Monday, Jan 22 at 8:00 a.m.

Wal-Mart is continuing to serve the growing Mesa community with the grand openings of the two new Supercenters. Both Supercenters are both donating $75,000 to local organizations and causes. The recipient organizations are : American Cancer Society, American Red Cross-Grand Canyon Chapter, Arizona Cactus-Pine Girl Scouts Council, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Arizona, Boys & Girls Club, City of Mesa Fire Department, City of Mesa Police Department-Crime Prevention/Community Relations Department, Community Action human Resources Agency, Community Alliance Against Family Abuse, Desert Ridge Junior high School, East Valley Senior Services, Grand Canyon Boy Scout Council, Lincoln Elementary, Mesa Family YMCA, Mesa United Way, Mesa Police Department, Redbird Elementary, Pinal Gila Community Child Services, Powell Junior High, Prehab of Arizona, Save the Family, Stevenson Elementary School, Sunshine Acres Children's HJome and United Food Bank.

The two Wal-Mart Supercenters will each provide approximately 200,000 square-feet of shopping area. The two Supercenters plan to employ more than 900 associate by grand openings. More than half of those associate are in full-time positions.

Wal-Mart is looking forward to continuing to serve the Mesa community and bringing a positive economic impact in the area from the job opportunities it provides and the money it saves local working families, said Kathy Horney, Wal-Mart Market Manager.

The new Wal-Mart Supercenters architecture is tailored to complement the surrounding developments in Mesa. The inside of both the Supercenters is designed for customers to engage in more efficient shopping with wider aisle space that include easier navigational signage.

Customers will be pleased to see the expanded cosmetic sections in both Supercenters that feature a wide selection of cosmetics and toiletries. In addition, both Supercenters are fully equipped with nail and hair salons.

A drive-through pharmacy is another new feature in both Supercenters that include two drive-through lanes. This new store features is designed to make the pharmacy more accessible and efficient for Wal-Mart customers. The new Supercenters are designed to be one-stop stores that satisfy a variety of the local customers needs.

www.walmartfacts.com