After a 13-year construction hiatus, Vestar, the largest privately held shopping center owner and manager in the western United States, has announced it is building three new retail centers in Queen Creek and Peoria.
The centers — Queen Creek Crossing, Vineyard Towne Center in Queen Creek and The Shops at Lake Pleasant in Peoria — total more than 650,000 square feet of retail space at a combined development cost of nearly $90 million. Construction is set to begin in late 2021 through early 2022.
“Vestar has always been a company with a very focused vision,” stated Vestar President and COO David Larcher in a press release. “For the past several years we strategically held off on developing new projects and put our resources into revitalizing our existing portfolio and responding to current retail trends. We are confident that this is the right time and are the right markets for us to return to our roots as ground up developers.”
Each of the three new developments are in areas that have seen rapid housing growth and expansion, with the Queen Creek area being one of the fastest-growing urban areas in the nation. Metro Phoenix has grown by nearly 1 million people since the last large shopping center was built.
Queen Creek Crossing is a planned 31-acre property featuring 300,000 square feet of retail. Groundbreaking is planned for June 2022, with an opening set for March 2023. Located at the northwest corner of Ellsworth Road and Queen Creek Road, Costco will anchor the project, which will feature a mix of retail and dining.
Also in Queen Creek is Vineyard Towne Center, which will begin construction in early 2022, with completion set for the end of the year. With 75,000 square feet targeted for the first phase, the 23-acre property at the northwest corner of North Gantzel Road and West Combs Road will feature a mix of a specialty natural grocer, shops, services and restaurants.
After purchasing 26 acres from the Arizona State Land Department, Vestar will develop The Shops at Lake Pleasant in Peoria. It will have approximately 90,000 square feet of retail space. The retail center is scheduled to open in late 2022 at Happy Valley Road and Lake Pleasant Parkway, adjacent to another shopping center the company developed several years ago, Lake Pleasant Towne Center.
“We have seen a resurgence of retail like never before,” Larcher stated. “Customer traffic, sales and leasing activity are stronger than pre-pandemic levels. These developments will not only bring more jobs, needed services and entertainment to the Queen Creek and Peoria areas, but will also give our tenants the chance to capitalize on the unprecedented growth these communities are experiencing and where the retail infrastructure has not kept pace.”
In recent years, Vestar focused on and invested in updating and refreshing its existing mixed-use and lifestyle properties, including Desert Ridge Marketplace in Phoenix. Tempe Marketplace also is currently undergoing a multimillion-dollar renovation. The upgrades include the addition of state-of-the-art LED screens, interactive and public art spaces, improved landscaping, signage and more.
Founded in 1989, Vestar currently manages more than 30 million square feet of space in seven states throughout the West.