With its renovation nearly complete, Village Square’s ownership also is making the shopping center’s vacancy rate smaller. But that’s not necessarily drawing in customers.
When the renovation was announced last year, Colby Durnin, the owner’s representative, said the center had a 39.5 percent vacancy rate , or 94,850 square feet to fill at the 240,000-square-foot property at 9400 West Sahara Ave. Now, it’s 72 percent leased, or 172,800 square feet occupied, leaving 67,200 square feet open.
Los Angeles-based Westport Capital Partners has owned the property since November 2011.
Total project cost was not disclosed, but changes to the shopping center include new paint — beige and brown from turquoise, red and blue — and a realigned parking lot. The center is planning a relaunch party for early fourth quarter.
“We’re very excited about the direction it’s going,” Durnin said.
Last summer, 808 Tapas, Maka Beauty Systems and ReMax Realty opened around the same time center improvements began. NEPC LLC, an investment consulting firm; NVpcfix, a computer retail and repair shop; and Chinita Mexican Bar & Grill opened the first quarter of 2013.
Coming soon to Village Square are Settebello pizzeria, Sumit Yoga and Pisces Reef, an aquarium store. The center also is working on four more leases, Durnin said.
“The renovation of the center has really come full circle. The positive momentum ... continues to attract great local tenants and national tenants,” Durnin said.
Retail in Las Vegas is a mixed bag. The anchored power centers are thriving, but centers not anchored by a national retail store are much more difficult to fill, said Charles Creigh, principal of NewMarket Advisors and the state director of the International Council of Shopping Centers.
Of Village Square he said: “It will fill up. It’ll just take a while, though, because having a movie theater as an anchor isn’t as popular as a Walmart.”
That doesn’t necessarily mean Village Square is attracting customers.
808 Tapas opened in September after owner Dean Okada chose the center because it was being revived. But business hasn’t been booming.
“It’s been a struggle with the construction,” he said. “I’m hoping with the grand opening of the shopping center, more people will find us. Everyone mostly knows this center for the movie theater.”
Okada said that he likes being in Village Square and there has been some positive change, but that he hasn’t been able to get any traction as far as sales go.
“We just need people to know we’re here,” he said.
Tenants Patty’s Closet and Sparkle, an accessories boutique, opened before the renovations began. The former is doing well, but the latter recently closed.
Of the closure, Patty’s Closet and Sparkle founder Patty Barba said: “It opened in a bad time, a few weeks after renovations started. They said it would be done in a month or two, but it was prolonged for six months.”
She said Sparkle was a victim of bad timing because it was a new concept to the valley and didn’t have a strong enough following to survive construction.
Overall though, she said, the changes to the center have been positive for Patty’s Closet, with customer traffic increasing since last year.
“It has improved a lot. Business is a roller coaster, so it always has its ups and downs,” Barba said.
Creigh said the customer traffic problem probably is being caused by the many pads blocking the interior of the shopping center from street view.
“It’s kind of screwed up the sight lines so people can’t see what’s in the center,” he said.
Contact reporter Laura Carroll at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-380-4588. Follow @lscvegas on Twitter.