Colliers International’s newly formed Retail Foresight team recently played a key role in bringing a Walmart Neighborhood Market in as the new anchor tenant to the Hawaiian Gardens Town Center that was purchased by HP Investors LLC, a San Diego-based real estate investment group, company officials have announced. Colliers also has been retained as the center’s leasing agent.  

The newly formed Colliers Retail Foresight team includes Senior Vice President James Rodriguez, Vice President Juan Jimenenz, and Associate Michael Bohorquez, all of whom had been with CBRE prior to joining Colliers in the company’s downtown Los Angeles office. The team has established itself as the dominant retail group focused on multi-cultural and Hispanic clients throughout Southern California and will continue to grow their dominant market position backed by the resources of Colliers International, Rodriquez noted.

HP Investors purchased the center in 2012 and believes Walmart’s decision to locate one of its new grocery stores at the center will help bring the property back  to being one of the top neighborhood centers in Hawaiian Gardens, according the investment group.

“Walmart’s lease was an off-market transaction that we were able to complete because it made economic sense for everyone involved,” Rodriguez said. “Due to the financial meltdown in 2008, the center has had increased vacancies, high tenant turnover and a general deterioration of its physical state. But now, with property improvements planned by HP Investors and the draw of a new Walmart Neighborhood Market, there has been a significant amount of tenant interest.” 

Colliers’ Rodriguez, Jimenez and Bohorquez represented the San Diego investment group in both the lease to Walmart and in consulting on the purchase of the center’s buildings and land.  Denver based Cadence Properties  was the seller. 

The approximately 43,000-square-foot Walmart store, which is slated to open in August, will not only fill a space that had been occupied by a shuttered Price Rite Market, but also will once again provide local residents with a place to buy groceries in their own neighborhood, Rodriguez noted. Other tenants in the center, which is located at the intersection of Norwalk Boulevard and Carson Street, include O’Reilly Auto Parts, Rent-a-Center and Jack in the Box. 

“Over recent years, vacancy rates within the center consistently ran about 30 percent and, for a retail center, that cannot be sustained over a long period of time before financial trouble sets in,” said Rodriquez. “Now, with Walmart’s Neighborhood Market signing a long-term lease commitment, and a new owner who will be making significant improvements and renovations to the center itself, more shoppers will be inclined to shop there. In turn, that will help replace city tax revenues lost when the recession hit this area.”

According to Walmart, the store will provide fresh and affordable groceries, as well as an assortment of everyday goods, and, importantly, new jobs.  In addition to the new site in Hawaiian Gardens, Walmart currently operates four other Neighborhood Markets in Los Angeles County -- Downey, Bell Gardens, Altadena and Panorama City. First opened in 1998, there are now more than 250 Walmart Neighborhood Markets nationwide.