Doug Curlee | Editor at Large
New owner looking to see what is legally possible
Brad Becker is looking to see exactly what he can do with the Riverdale Shopping Center that he recently purchased for $10.1 million.
His company, Becker Properties, is engaged in the purchase and construction of shopping centers, among other endeavors.
“I think what we have here is a center that’s been there for a long time, and has a solid base of anchor tenants and leaseholders that would like to stay there and prosper as they have in the past.” Becker said of the property that is located along Friars Road in Grantville. “What we’re beginning now is the process of meeting with all our tenants, trying to see what they need and how we can make that happen for them. The rents there are well below current market, and some of the leases are coming due. We’ll be working on those to try to make everything good for all concerned.”
The anchor tenants include Armstrong Nursery and a very busy CVS pharmacy, as well as a major restaurant, Black Angus. That lease is apparently about up, and Becker wants to see what that company’s plans are before committing to anything at that site.
When Becker made an informal informational presentation to the Navajo Community Planning group on March 14, he mentioned that one of the things he’d like to see is a pair of drive-thru fast food operations. Pressed by the planning group’s board for details, Becker said that an operation like a drive-thru Starbucks and drive-thru In-N-Out Burger have been mentioned in conversations, but no kind of commitment has been made on any of those ideas, and won’t be for some time.
That is where Becker might run into a problem with the city of San Diego.
Planning group members Dan Smith and John La Raia reminded Becker that traffic overlay zones in the area prohibit the placing of drive-thrus on that property, particularly since the property abuts Friars Road, a very heavy traffic area just about any time of day, but especially in the mornings.
“Yes, we understand that,” Becker said. “We’re right now engaged in meetings with the city to see what, if any, exceptions to the overlay zones we might be eligible for.”
He’s also aware that there is support from some quarters for high-density housing in the area, and he’s not sure what, if any, effect that might have on future plans.
However, if all this works out, Becker thinks he has a very good investment in the center.
“The sales volumes of the tenants are excellent, and we can update and refurbish this property, and change the tenant mix if needed, simply because it’s a center that has a great track record that we can build on.”
There’s no hard timeline for any of this, but Becker wants to get going on it.
He’ll be back to the Navajo Planning Group as soon as there are firm plans in mind — and on paper.
— Doug Curlee is Editor at Large. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.