by Bryan Ledbetter, Western Retail Advisors
With communities like Peoria, Surprise, Buckeye and Goodyear ranking among the fastest-growing cities in Arizona, the West Valley now boasts a population of approximately 1.7 million residents, booming employment opportunities along the Loop 303 and a retail market that has come into its own.
Retailers of all types are taking big steps to serve this very underserved trade area, bringing all levels of development online and causing national big-box tenants, entertainment destinations and even neighborhood retailers to compete for space. As one might expect, this has pushed vacancy rates to record lows in the 4% range and continues to elevate rental rates. High rents are particularly prevalent at the newest developments, which continue to bear the brunt of high construction costs.
Village at Prasada, which was developed by SimonCRE and is being leased by Western Retail Advisors, leads the new construction charge with one of the largest retail commercial projects west of the Mississippi. A 700,000-square-foot first phase is complete and fully leased to tenants that include Sprouts, Ross, HomeGoods, Marshalls, Ulta Beauty, Total Wine & More and PetSmart. A 350,000-square-foot second phase, called Prasada North, is under construction with negotiations underway for more than 95% of the project’s retail and restaurant space.
The success of Prasada has kicked off additional retail developments, all of which are projected to break ground in 2024 and complete in 2025. This includes Vestar and DMB’s 512,000-square-foot Verrado Marketplace, also leased by Western Retail Advisors. Buckeye Commons will total 411,000 square feet, with a Costco anchor. Vestar has also announced plans for the 375,000-square-foot Laveen Towne Center.
On the entertainment front, existing destinations such as the Westgate Entertainment District are thriving, welcoming tenants like PopStroke, Arizona’s first location for the Tiger Woods-backed golf concept. To the south, VIA Resort is under construction. When opened in 2024, the water-themed development will become Arizona’s largest hotel and entertainment destination. A new Top Golf is also now open just to the west, immediately across Loop 101.
To the north, and also fronting Loop 101, Agua Fria Plaza serves as a great example of the unbounded demand for West Valley neighborhood retail space. At this project, our firm has completed a string of leases to bring the property to 100% occupancy with tenants that include a newly remodeled Fry’s Food & Drug store, Nationwide Vision, UPS, Foothills Sports Medicine, Wingstop, Subway and McDonald’s.
Now a community where one can live, work and play in style, the West Valley’s story continues to evolve. Incomes, employment and residential opportunities are all expanding. As this transformation continues, there is little doubt that area residents will soon have all the hottest retail and restaurant offerings the Valley has to offer, right at their doorstep.
Bryan Ledbetter is senior vice president at Western Retail Advisors, a full-service commercial real estate brokerage firm specializing in the retail market that serves top retailers and Fortune 500 clients in more than 30 states nationwide.