Reflecting changes in the way its quick lube centers do business, the company that owns Valvoline Instant Oil Change centers throughout Southern California has given Colliers International an assignment unlike any it has had before – sublease the empty spaces within 59 of its high-visibility stores that once were used as customer waiting lounges.
Headquartered in Boston, Henley Enterprises, one of the largest quick-lube operators in the nation, acquired 72 Southern California sites in 2012 as part of the single largest acquisition in industry history. It has retained Colliers to make the empty spaces in 59 of those locations profit-bearing enterprises. While most of the empty space averages about 500 square feet, there are some spaces as large as 4,000 square feet and others as small as 400 square feet.
“Customers no longer need to exit their vehicles when having their cars serviced and this eliminated the need for waiting areas and created excess space within the stores that could be subleased to retailers with complementary products or services,” said Colliers Vice President Terrison Quinn, a retail specialist in the company’s Irvine office. “What we are attempting to do is reverse that trend and get people back out of their vehicles to grab a cup of coffee, a sandwich, or browse the latest in mobile technology. Those are the types of tenants we hope to attract.”
In addition to Quinn, the Colliers team consists of three other brokers covering the five-county area that makes up the greater Los Angeles metropolitan region – Ventura, Los Angeles, San Bernardino, Riverside and Orange – plus San Diego County. Joining Quinn on the Colliers-Valvoline team are Senior Vice Presidents Kirk Allison and Vic Gausepohl, both based in Colliers’ San Diego office, and Peter Spragg, a senior associate in the firm’s downtown Los Angeles office.
“Ideally, the perfect solution would be for one retailer to come in and take all the sites, but we doubt that will be the final scenario due to the different sizes of square footages available,” said Colliers Spragg. “More than likely, we will have small chain retailers who already have shown they can operate their businesses in flexible and smaller footprints. Those are our primary targets.”
In order to participate in leasing the excess space, retailers are required to commit to a minimum package of five stores, all of which are already highly-trafficked and well-located in prime locations ranging from Thousand Oaks and Simi Valley in the north with the bulk of properties in greater Los Angeles, Orange, San Bernardino and Riverside counties, and a handful in San Diego.
“Not only are these stores plentiful, they are licensed by Valvoline and there are few, if any, better brands when it comes to quick lube and oil change,” added Colliers’ Gausepohl who, with Allison, will be concentrating on the San Diego and Riverside county stores. “We are hoping to quickly locate a regional or local user who can capitalize on the highly visible locations with their
products or services.”
Consistent growth has been a staple for the Henley companies, which were formed to operate one of the first franchised Valvoline Instant Oil Change facilities in Somerville, MA in 1989. Now a coast-to-coast operation, Henley employs more than 1,800 associates in 12 states.