NewMark Merrill Breaks Ground on Inland Empire Shopping Center

This development marks the company’s second retail project in the area.

Rialto Village

Rialto Village. Image courtesy of NewMark Merrill.

NewMark Merrill Cos. has broken ground on Rialto Village, a 10-building, 96,000-square-foot shopping center in Rialto, Calif. 18 businesses have already preleased 97 percent of the retail space.

NewMark Merrill is working alongside CBRE to market the remaining space—one shop suite with 2,700 square feet available. NewMark Merrill Vice President Greg Giacopuzzi and CBRE Senior Vice President Walter Pagel and Vice President Brian McDonald are leading the leasing efforts.

Rialto Village is NewMark Merrill’s second retail undertaking in the area, following its 2017 development of an adjacent Walmart-anchored shopping center.

Upon completion, Rialto Village will be anchored by Sprouts, Burlington, Ulta and Five Below. Other tenants will include Cold Stone Creamery, Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf and West Coast Dental. The retail complex is adjacent to Historic Route 66, as well as within 5 miles of downtown San Bernardino, 10 miles of the Greater Inland Empire and 50 miles from Los Angeles.

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NewMark’s preleasing of the space takes place as developers, facing an ever-transforming retail landscape, both market and position their future properties’ spaces as pre-fit and move-in ready, available or set for use as soon as possible after construction. Additionally, developers and landlords are beginning to see their buildings as more than just shops, thinking of them as greater fixtures of the communities they are situated in.

In light of this new vision of retail space, NewMark CEO Sandy Sigal told Commercial Property Executive, “Rialto Village is a great example of the new retail dynamic—a center where Sprouts, Burlington and 5 Below co-exist—where the mix includes services like a dentist, sit-down and fast food, and daily needs. All in a community where healthy grocery choices don’t exist at all in the trade area. Almost 100 percent leased during COVID, with velocity increasing during what looks like a tough time in the economy, this development demonstrates the strong need for retail in areas that have traditionally been viewed as lower-income areas.  Demand in these areas remain strong as compared to the pullback of retail users in other markets.”

The Inland Empire’s retail recovery

Overall, the Inland Empire’s retail sector is on a steady climb, with vacancy rates falling to an average of 6 percent as of the second quarter of 2022, marking a 16.7 percent annual drop, according to a recent report by Kidder Mathews. The market also had 1.7 million square feet of retail space under construction as of the second quarter, an 80 percent yearly increase. Additionally, the area’s average rent has risen to $20.23 per square foot, with the sale price rising to $256.84, the report shows.

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