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Developers may need to rethink what an anchor tenant is

Shopping centers, outdoor malls and indoor malls have all traditionally relied on prominent, well-known retail stores to draw customers here in Orange County and elsewhere. Large department stores used to fit the bill when it came to finding anchor tenants for retail developments. As the consumer landscape changes, developers may need to rethink what constitutes an anchor tenant.

Anchor tenants provide the primary draw for consumers to a particular retail location. While an individual is at the retail center, he or she might check out the other, smaller stores and make purchases. Department stores and grocery stores used to make the best anchor tenants.

However, the way that people shop has changed. Many of the traditional anchor tenants no longer provide the traffic needed in order to make a retail center profitable. This has led to a shift in how developers look at anchor tenants. Now, they may look at gyms, movie theaters or restaurants to anchor their shopping centers or malls. The rise of mixed-use developments appears to be the wave of the future.

Consumers want to live, work and play in the same general location. Being able to walk to the grocery store, stop at the gym on the way home and have a nice dinner with friends and walking home appeal to more and more people. Developers here in Orange County may want to keep this in mind as they figure out how to use either a new or existing retail center to its maximum. Being able to cater to the new consumer may require rezoning a property or going through some other legal process in order to make it happen.

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