Pioneer Spirit: Arturo Sneider
- Oct 21, 2014
Arturo Sneider Forges New Paths for Retail in Urban Markets
By Paul Rosta, Senior Editor
At first glance, Plaza Pacoima Regional Shopping Center might seem interchangeable with scores of other retail properties that dot metropolitan Los Angeles. Located on West Paxton Street in Pacoima, a working-class community in Los Angeles’ San Fernando Valley, the property offers a Costco Wholesale Warehouse, a Best Buy and additional office and retail space. But in truth, Plaza Pacoima is a milestone disguised as a 203,000-square-foot power center.
Completed at a cost of $78 million in 2010, the project revived an abandoned industrial site and created a local economic engine. That mission attracted the support of a coalition of elected officials, city agencies, community leaders and lenders. But its most lasting contribution may be bringing badly needed retail services to a community that had long been neglected by national brands. In that respect, Plaza Pacoima reflects the ingenuity, insight and dogged persistence of its Los Angeles-based developer, Primestor Development Inc., and its CEO, Arturo Sneider.
Throughout its 20-year history, Primestor has pioneered retail development in underserved urban communities, especially Hispanic areas. Specializing in ground-up development of properties in the 300,000- to 500,000-square-foot range, Sneider has overseen the creation of stylish, individually crafted projects in its Southern California backyard and as far away as Chicago. “He builds them like he’s going into a high-end community,” explained Jeffrey Johnson, a senior vice president in the Los Angeles office of Wells Fargo, which has provided financing for several Primestor projects. On a visit to one center, Johnson recalled, “I felt like I was in Malibu.”