By Barbra Murray
Renaissance Marketplace, a retail center developed specifically for the Millennial generation, has welcomed its first visitors in Rialto, Calif. Lewis Retail Centers recently introduced the property to the Greater Inland Empire-area market with the opening of the first phase of the 430,000-square-foot shopping, dining and entertainment destination.
“The City of Rialto and the Inland Empire as a whole continue to show strong signs of growth, making this the perfect time for a project like this. The lower cost of living in Rialto and the Greater Inland Empire continue to attract new residents, which will drive long-term demand for the center,” Randall Lewis, executive vice president of marketing at the Lewis Group of Cos., Lewis Retail Centers’ parent company, told Commercial Property Executive.
The retail mix at Renaissance Marketplace is designed to appeal to the segment of the population that now ranges from 22 to 37 years of age, from new college grads to parents of young children. The tenant roster currently features a luxury-format, 13-screen Cinemark Theatre and a 38,000-square-foot 24 Hour Fitness in the anchor spots, as well as four other businesses, including Starbucks. “These residents want and need more options to eat, shop and have fun,” Lewis added. “We see that as an opportunity for the community and our business.”
Ultimately, Renaissance Marketplace will also offer a third anchor, off-price department store Burlington, which will occupy 43,000 square feet. The list of popular eateries will include such national and regional names as The Habit, Panera Bread and Ahi Poke Bowl.
An additional 26 tenants will officially debut at Renaissance Marketplace in September. In the meantime, Lewis Retail continues to rely on a variety of marketing efforts to zero-in on its target market, the most fitting of which is social media.
While Renaissance Marketplace is conceived as a Millennial-centric retail destination, the property’s mix of offerings is also embracing of other generations, including Baby Boomers. The shopping preferences of the groups are not necessarily mutually exclusive. As noted in a recent study by Deloitte, “The Great Retail Bifurcation: Why the Retail ‘Apocalypse’ is Really a Renaissance,” many of the retail behaviors of low- and middle-income Millennials were not that different at all; they were in line with other generations.
Lewis Retail remains prepared to adapt to consumers’ changing preferences, whether they’re dictated by age groups or not. “We are always looking to evolve and offer the types of uses that the community demands,” Lewis said. “As with all of our shopping centers, we’ll continually evaluate our tenant mix and make changes as needed. Our goal is to build a quality center for the community that lasts generations.”
Image courtesy of Lewis Retail Centers