Editor's note: An earlier headline on this story incorrectly said the Plantation Shopping Center is in Boise. It is in Garden City.
Remodeling the Plantation Shopping Center was a leap of faith, Stan Rosen said, but we knew nothing would change the perception of the center if we didnt put anything into it.
The strip of stores, built in 1979 and 1980, was one of the first developments at State and Glenwood streets. But decades of wear showed on the building fronts and the cracked parking lot. Several stores closed in the economic downturn, driving the centers vacancy rate down to about 50 percent.
Plantation was owned by DBSI of Meridian, which managed commercial properties for investors around the country. DBSI collapsed as real estate values fell and filed for bankruptcy in November 2008. A court-appointed examiner reported that DBSI was an elaborate shell game that used new investor money to pay off existing investors.
DBSIs failure put the shopping center on the market as a distressed bank property, and Rosen, owner of Rosen Properties of Bellevue, Wash., bought it in late 2010.
Now the Glenwood corridor between Chinden Boulevard and State Street has become a hot spot for retailers. Nearly 90,000 square feet has been leased this year in the area, including Ross Dress for Less at Plantation, and the Oliver Finley Academy of Cosmetology and the Revolution Concert House in other strip malls.
Across the Treasure Valley, tenants are leasing or building prime spaces, says agent Lew Goldman of Colliers International Commercial Real Estate.
The vacancy rate is just under 12 percent, which is trending downward, he said. But when you look at anchored centers, it drops down in the 5 percent range. That could spur new development. And we have a lot of activity from national retailers looking at Boise.
Rosen wont say how much he paid for Plantation, which has 14 retail spaces and 104,000 square feet. Ada County lists its assessed value at about $2.8 million.
The center is Rosens first investment outside Washington state. He owns and manages about 40 commercial properties valued at more than $290 million in the Seattle area.
Rosen said he looked at the Boise economy, housing and lifestyle while considering the property. He said he also relied on Colliers International Commercial Real Estates knowledge of the market.
Big 5 Sporting Goods store and D&B Supply ranch and farm store anchor the complex. A Big Lots store is attached but wasnt part of Rosens purchase.
Rosens company spent more than $2 million on improvements, including facades, the parking lot, landscaping, lighting, sidewalks, heating, ventilation and air-conditioning. The front of D&B, which extended its lease, will be renovated beginning in January, Rosen said. Goldman said the investment has upgraded the property to prime retail space.
It totally needed it, said Janyce LePire, owner of Dog Barber Shop, a full- and self-service groomer and a tenant since 2005. We have new neighbors. We see a lot more foot traffic.
Sofias Greek Bistro opened in October. Smart Art Crafts for Kids opened in May. And LePire said shes received many new clients from Sumits Hot Yoga, which also opened in May next door to her.
Donna Jackovich, the local Sumits licensee, says she chose the location to cut the commute for clients from Eagle, Meridian and Canyon County. Jackovichs first location is on Broadway Avenue near Boise State University. She plans to open a third location near Chinden Boulevard and Meridian Road in October.
Smart Art has stations for children to do arts and crafts such as mask-making. Owner Michelle Cenarrusa said she liked the area and the look of the remodel.
The neighborhoods around there were ideal for what I was doing lots of families, Cenarrusa said.
Cenarrusa said Ross Dress for Less coming in as an anchor was a huge factor in her decision to open her shop.
Earlier this year, Ross Dress for Less leased a 25,000-square-foot space at the center. The store will be the retailers fifth in the Treasure Valley and will employ about 50 full- and part-time associates. A corporate spokeswoman said the national chain chose the site because it matched qualities the company looks for, such as high density of nearby housing, high visibility, high traffic counts and good access.
The Ross is helping to draw a clothing consignment shop as well, Goldman said.
Owners of the small stores and shops at the center said they expect their business to increase when Ross Dress for Less opens in October.
It will bring a lot of clients, Jackovich said.
Rosen is pleased with his purchase.
I feel like its paying off, he said. I would like to do more acquisitions in the Boise area.
Sandra Forester: 377-6464