Houston-based NewQuest Properties will wrap up construction in mid-May at Chandler Ranch in southeast Phoenix, where leading brands like 99 Ranch and a trio of newly signed restaurateurs from the West Coast will open their first locations in Arizona.
With its eye on creating a food destination, NewQuest’s Asia-Pacific Retail Group has landed Kura Revolving Sushi Bar, Meet Fresh and Uncle Lee’s Kitchen for the 117,565-sf project at 1760 W. Chandler Blvd. in Chandler’s Price Corridor near Loops 101 and 202. To date, 87% of the class A retail space has been pre-leased, a gain of 52% since NewQuest purchased the former Andersen Fiesta Shopping Center in October 2019.
“There are a lot of West Coast restaurateurs and retailers looking to expand to Arizona. Until now, they hadn’t found the right opportunity or product,” says Naoyuki Kondo, leasing specialist in NewQuest’s Asia-Pacific Retail Group.
NewQuest has invested about $10 million into the shopping center’s makeover, including the addition of well-designed outdoor gathering spaces for the post-COVID era, new facades, lighting and signage. The anchor, 99 Ranch, will open its first grocery in Arizona in late May, backfilling a 44,442-sf former Basha’s store.
Kura Revolving Sushi Bar and Uncle Lee’s Kitchen have leased 3,311 sf and 1,466 sf, respectively. Meet Fresh has roped off 2,400 sf. The trio will open in Q4. David Uhles of Western Retail Advisors represented Kura’s while the other two leases resulted from direct negotiations with NewQuest’s specialized leasing group.
Chandler Ranch also will be home to the second Ramen Hood in the state. Tenant finish-out is underway on a 2,791-sf restaurant.
The redesigned Chandler Ranch is emerging as an epicurean collection of Asian, Mexican, Mediterranean and American cuisines. Some restaurants were longtime tenants when
NewQuest acquired the 14.5-acre property.
We envision Chandler Ranch will be a culinary destination that people will gravitate towards to experience a fun food adventure,” says Heather Nguyen, development partner of NewQuest Properties and leader of the Asia-Pacific Retail Group.
NewQuest is modeling Chandler Ranch after three Asian-focused retail projects in its portfolio – Carrollton Town Center and Frisco Ranch in North Texas and Katy Grand in west Houston. Market studies show Chandler, often deemed the Silicon Valley of Arizona, was a strong candidate for the firm’s niche concept because it boasts the highest Asian growth in the state.
“We’ve had to educate potential tenants about the strong Asian growth. They didn’t always consider Arizona to be their next market,” Kondo says. “Chandler Ranch is changing their minds.”
Key to success of the NewQuest concept is the concentration of established international restaurants and retail brands and rising stars from Pan-Asia and California that Nguyen’s team has been courting for several years. Categories include authentic cuisines, high-end bakeries, dessert shops and specialty stores.
“As with we did in Texas, we are curating a tenant mix to create a diverse dining destination by recruiting certain brands for Chandler Ranch,” Nguyen says. “We hope to offer a destination where there is something that will appeal to everyone.”
NewQuest Properties, founded in 2001, is a privately owned, full-service commercial real estate firm specializing in development, land brokerage, leasing, tenant representation, investment sales and property management services. Headquartered in Houston, NewQuest owns a portfolio encompassing more than 60 retail and mixed-use projects valued at $2.2 billion and provides leasing services for more than 12 million square feet of commercial space in Texas, Louisiana and throughout the U.S.