With the advent of e-commerce and fast shipping, some retailers find that it doesn't pay to have a brick-and-mortar store. They close up shop and leave vacant spots in a retail center. Others, on the other hand, continue to thrive. You don't want to risk losing them because of the vacancies.
What's the retail real estate property manager to do? Look to an unlikely source. No need to pray for new tenants. They'll do plenty of it for you.
You have a few creative options for filling those empty spaces with the following types of tenants.
Congregations in a retail center? It won't surprise some of you because they're popping up in many places. Business Insider says many churches flourish in defunct malls and retail locations. One bought 400,000 sq. ft. of space and another has more than 20,000 members.
The Wall Street Journal reports that churches hold leases in more than 100 malls and open-air retail centers. One center in North Dakota leases to three churches and another in Colorado hosts three churches and a synagogue.
Churches, temples, and synagogues bring traffic all week-long, not just on Sundays or the Sabbath. They hold meetings, study sessions, and social gatherings. Some provide preschool and daycare. If the property offers dining options, you can bet the worshippers will patronize those.
Some of these non-denominational churches prefer malls and retail properties to move away from the traditional church-style building. Furthermore, leasing commercial real estate property is more cost-effective than new development.
Who knew that eat, pray, and shop could be a successful formula for commercial real estate? It's a win for all. Churches like the open spaces and visibility of retail centers as well as the parking. Property owners and managers gain cash flow. They also benefit from the foot and car traffic to keep the property busy and ward off some security problems. Customers are more likely to visit a retail center when it's full.
A church in Boca Raton leased more space to add a gym. A 450-member congregation in Vero Beach, Florida, leases close to 17,000 sq. ft. in a mall and invested almost half a million dollars on improvements according to TCPalm.com.
The locale isn't without its challenges as teens have caused problems. That's one reason why retail properties need to do their due diligence. They'll want to target established congregations rather than new ones.
Properties can overcome troublesome teens and crime with the right security solution. Implementing security technology like remote video monitoring can attract new tenants. With shootings at places of worship making the news, congregations place a high priority on security.
Congregants, shoppers, and diners value security. Worshippers want to feel free and safe while praying. Shoppers want to get their packages to their vehicles safely. Diners want to enjoy their meal without worrying about holding tight onto their belongings. To learn more about your options, get this complete guide to retail center security or contact us.