Source, Philadelphia Business Journal, Natalie Kostelni
The King of Prussia Town Center has signed four new tenants and is closing in on filling the last remaining vacancies at the new retail complex.
When CBRE Global Investors bought 263,423-square-foot center in early 2017, it was 87 percent occupied with a series of fine dining and fast casual restaurants, large anchors such as LA Fitness, Nordstrom Rack and REI as well as smaller tenants including Starbucks. With so little space left — including one prime 12,300-square-foot building that faces Wegman’s — the new landlord wanted to be selective when it came to filling vacancies.
What was certain is it didn’t want additional restaurants, sensing that the number of dining establishments at the center was sufficient. Apparel tenants have been a harder sell since many of them prefer to cluster around each other and the nearby King of Prussia Mall already provided a destination for those retailers. The new tenants are service oriented: Drybar, a salon which leased 1,800 square feet and will open next month; Heart & Paw, which took 3,400 square feet and will open late September; Smile Direct, which leased 1,800 square feet and will open late May; and Verizon, which will move into space next to Mission BBQ and also open next month.
“Drybar is a good example of a non-food tenant that brings in the customer we are looking for,” said Joe Mancuso, managing director at CBRE. That customer is someone who will visit the center and spend hours there taking in events and dining at one of the restaurants.
Drybar will go into an end space in the 12,300-square-foot building it has been saving to lease last. The landlord envisions leasing the rest of that building with one or two larger tenants and expects those deals to be done done this year. Tenants under consideration include soft goods, home furnishings or cooking related. “We’re really being very selective for that last piece of space,” Mancuso said. “That’s the face of Main Street.”
Heart & Paw and Smile Direct also other examples of the tenant mix the center is trying to cultivate. Heart & Paw will have several components including veterinary care, pet grooming, day care and a store. Smile Direct is a cosmetic dentistry outlet and will be located near the LA Fitness.
Parking has been a nagging issue at the center that is being addressed on multiple fronts. “We think we have finally figured it out,” Mancuso said. “It’s not perfect yet, but I think it’s getting better. We don’t want a Yogi Berra situation where it’s too crowded and no one goes there.”
A multipronged approach is being taken to alleviate the congested parking situation that can be a deterrent for visitors. To that end, apartment tenants who don’t park at their respective buildings but rather in town center spaces are being towed to discourage the practice. Construction has started to ease and that has removed some of the vehicles used by workers at job sites. In addition, a second valet stand is operating during the dinner hours and, in general, employees working at town center restaurants and retailers have been provided designated areas to park that aren’t prime spaces used by visitors.
CBRE Global paid two years ago $183 million, or $700 a square-foot, for the King of Prussia Town Center. Located at 155 Village Drive in King of Prussia, it is the retail component of the Village at Valley Forge, a 122-acre master planned, mixed-use development. CBRE Global became familiar with the project when it bought year ago the underlying Wegman’s ground lease.