Vestar to Manage Buena Park Downtown Retail Complex in California

Vestar is taking on a new 1.1 million-square-foot responsibility, now that it has won the third-party contract to spearhead management of Buena Park Downtown, a retail complex in Buena Park, Calif.

January 11, 2012
By Barbra Murray, Contributing Editor

Vestar is taking on a new 1.1 million-square-foot responsibility, now that it has won the third-party contract to spearhead management of Buena Park Downtown, a retail complex in Buena Park, Calif., located adjacent to Knotts Berry Farm theme park and roughly 25 miles southeast of Los Angeles. The privately held real estate company emerged victorious in a competitive selection process for the contract, which includes overseeing leasing at the sprawling shopping destination.

“Vestar has been involved in only shopping centers for the entire history of our company, which dates back to 1977, and because of that we have a great feel for what works at shopping centers, not only from a tenant mix perspective but also from what a community needs,” Pat McGinley, vice president of property management at Vestar, told Commercial Property Executive. “We do a great deal of research within the community as to what tenants might be missing from the shopping centers, and what tenants would do exceptionally well.”

Winning the bid for the contract was no simple feat. What Vestar brings to the table is a hands-on approach that incorporates practically the entire company. “We have a very, very entrepreneurial focus,” he explained. “Senior leadership is involved in every management account that we take on, either for our own account, for institutional partners or for special clients. So everyone at the company gets involved. Every senior member was a part of the situational analysis and in determining what we could bring to the asset. We couldn’t be more serious about this endeavor.”

Buena Park Downtown is a multi-faceted retail property, featuring the 794,600-square-foot Buena Park Mall, the 207,800-square-foot Buena Park Place open-air community center and the 133,000-square-foot Park Center Entertainment Center, an open-air entertainment venue.

Vestar has wasted precious little time moving toward realizing its vision for Buena park Downtown. “Our plan is to enhance the leasing and marketing efforts and to greater utilize the property to create interest throughout the shopping center so that all tenants are able to be more successful,” McGinley noted. He confided in CPE that Vestar just selected commercial real estate services firm CB Richard Ellis to handle leasing at the shopping center, which is presently 82 percent occupied.¬† Part of Vestar’s successful track record in managing large retail assets centers on its commitment to relying on a leasing team with a strong knowledge of the local market.

“Our philosophy is we take what we’ve learned being an owner and manager of shopping centers and the entrepreneurial focus and entrepreneurial way of thinking, and we translate that into finding the best leasing representatives to implement the plan that we think is best for the asset,” he said. “And we believe that having a local presence and a local contact company is going to be instrumental to enhancing the tenant mix of the asset.”

Vestar has done it all before. The company presently serves as property manager for the well-tenanted Long Beach Towne Center and The District at Tustin Legacy, both of which are 1 million-square-foot retail assets in the Greater Los Angeles area.

“Taking what we’ve learned there and at our other assets and implementing those successful marketing and leasing programs at Buena Park is going to really enhance both the tenant mix and the overall tenant success,” he said.