Marin's Retail Power Tenant Centers

Thoughtful explanation of Investment Real Estate in Marin County and beyond.

Power malls are malls built to house “power tenants” (fancy that?).

These types of stores attract shoppers from a larger radius, are usually located on freeway’s or main traffic arteries, and usually operate nationally.

The Home Depot, Best Buy, Costco, Target, Toys R Us, Beverages and Beyond, Sleep Train Mattresses, Dicks Sporting goods, Mens Warehouse, are just a few examples. Some brokers might include the chains Trader Joe’s or Whole food markets in the power tenant category and others as in the large neighborhood center category.

Marin county didn’t have a lot of vacant land by the time the “big box” and super-stores came into their own.

Only the Vintage Oaks Mall in Novato, with it’s Costco, Target, and many others, is a true example of a power center in Marin county.

Most of the tenants I named do have a Marin county presence. The stores are clustered in freeway frontage type locations in San Rafael, either in free standing buildings or centers hosting two or three names. Costco has been unable to get permits on locations south of Novato. Walmart has not found an entry point at all. The Home Depot made a sustained effort to get into Marin for a decade in the 1990’s. Around 1999, the chain finally attained a lease and operating permits to open. The Home Depot had to pay a very high rent relative to their normal locations and their isolated site has almost no visibility. Target has recently built a store on a separate parcel (does not share a parking lot) almost adjacent to it, and two large car dealerships have located in front of it. I tell the story as an example of the differences in property values and necessary utility settled for in different markets.

Corte Madera has a few of the smaller power tenants in small freeway frontage malls near it’s two regional centers.

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