Vestar Executive Vice President Jeff Axtell
(Disclosure: Rose Law Group represents Vestar.)
By Rose Law Group Reporter
(PHOENIX) – Vestar, the Phoenix-based real estate developer, owner and operator had a landmark year in 2022, expanding its retail and entertainment footprint throughout the western United States.
Key milestones reached in 2022 include leasing more than 1.1 million square feet of retail space with 460 new and renewed leases. Vestar also has more than 1.5 million-square-feet of commercial retail space currently under development, setting the stage for continued expansion and value creation in the years to come.
The company welcomed a variety of notable retailers to its properties in 2022, including Whole Foods, Hobby Lobby, TJ Maxx, Costco, Sprouts, and two Nordstrom Rack stores to its growing portfolio of open-air shopping centers. In addition, Vestar continued to grow its presence throughout the Southwest, securing five new third-party management assignments for 1.6 million-square-feet of space and entering the New Mexico marketplace for the first time with a project in Santa Fe.
“We’re very proud of what our team accomplished in 2022,” said Vestar Executive Vice President Jeff Axtell. “Our robust leasing and development activity reflects the fact that the open-air retail sector continues its post-pandemic rebound, particularly in areas seeing heavy population growth.”
The company also expanded green initiatives at Vestar operated projects last year. Through its proprietary sustainability program GreenSTAR, Vestar reduced overall energy usage by 14% portfolio-wide and added energy-saving LED light fixtures to 90% of its properties.
Another 94% of Vestar properties now actively participate in recycling and/or composting programs and the majority of them will feature electric vehicle charging stations by the end of 2023.
Vestar found innovative ways to attract new customers in 2022, hosting almost 2,150 events that drew nearly 2 million attendees. Several outdoor retail destinations in Arizona and Colorado, including Desert Ridge Marketplace and Tempe Marketplace, also implemented “Sip & Stroll” programs last year, allowing guests to enjoy cocktails in common areas between visiting stores and restaurants.
Looking ahead, the company has five new ground-up developments in the works across the Phoenix metro area that span more than 1.5 million-square-feet. New shopping and entertainment destinations in Queen Creek, Peoria, Buckeye and Phoenix are set to open between summer 2023 and early 2025.
“Vestar had a strong 2022, and leasing continues to gain momentum portfolio-wide,” Axtell said. “We had 96% of our portfolio leased in 2022 and expect that trend to continue.”