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February 25, 2014 > Takes From Silicon Valley East

Takes From Silicon Valley East

All Grown Up! Pacific Commons Transitions under new Management

When word broke in December that Catellus Development had sold Pacific Commons to Chicago-based investor Heitman, it was big news. (Big, as in the largest retail transaction in 2013!) Most heartening to us was the fact that there was significant competition to purchase the asset because of its reputation as a high-performing retail powerhouse. Heitman wasted no time in upping the ante for this premier asset, hiring Vestar for property management and opening an on-site office this month. As the new ÔfaceÕ of Pacific Commons, we asked Vestar General Manager Jennifer Duarte to share her thoughts on their plans for the center.

Q: What was it about Pacific Commons that attracted Heitman/Vestar to this opportunity?

A: Pacific Commons is an all around strong retail center and solid long-term investment. The Center is a dominant, regional retail project in the Bay area. It has a great line-up of leading anchor tenants with an excellent tenant mix of retailers and restaurants. With this premier location and affluent demographics, all within the heart of Silicon Valley, Pacific Commons is a very attractive Center to own and manage.

Q: What are the most important things for people to know about VestarÕs management philosophy?

A: VestarÕs philosophy is simple Ð Òcreate a sense of place and value for the long-termÓ. This philosophy is the cornerstone of our success with our projects, our people, investors and tenants. With a reputation for integrity and responsibility, we make a positive long-term improvement to every project we own and manage. We intend to do that at Pacific Commons Ð through strengthening the tenant mix, creating special places throughout the project and bringing the community into the Center through partnerships, charity events and entertainment.

We want to continue to grow Pacific Commons as the communityÕs first choice as the destination for shopping, dining, socializing and entertainment.

Q: Retail has changed a lot in the last several years. What is VestarÕs approach to adapting to this ever-evolving industry?

A: With the emergence of e-commerce, it is critical that we provide Òa special shopping experienceÓ for consumers when visiting our Centers. Whether it is the latest brands and concepts, unique gathering places, entertainment and events or a special place to bring your family for the afternoon, our Centers are operated to the highest standards to provide a comfortable, inviting and appealing atmosphere. Our goal is to bring a mix of retailers together that complement each other in an environment that is inviting to our community.

Q: What are your specific plans for Pacific Commons? Lots of change or subtle adjustments?

A: Both! You will see big changes in our branding, messaging and communication with our customers at Pacific Commons. We will be launching a comprehensive marketing, advertising and event program in the next few months. This will include providing special offers from our retailers and restaurants, hosting community charity events and adding a weekly farmerÕs market.

We will be making more subtle changes in the physical aspect of Pacific Commons including the creation of some Òspecial placesÓ where you can relax, hang out, and enjoy the scenery with friends, family and the community.

Q: How do you envision The Block relating to the rest of the center?

A: The Block is a unique destination within Pacific Commons. It has more of a lifestyle center feel with colored LED lights, palm trees, outdoor dining, and storefront parking. With restaurants such as The Habit, Krispy Kreme, Which Wich and Blaze Pizza (coming soon!) in conjunction with the Century Theatre; this is an ideal area to go on Òdate nightÓ or spend time with your family and friends. We are excited to announce that DickÕs Sporting Goods will soon be joining other strong retailers in this area such as Ulta Cosmetics and MenÕs Wearhouse. We are looking forward to their opening near the end of the year.

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