The Zuni Plaza shopping center has a fresh look with the arrival of new national retail tenants.
In August, AutoZone opened its 44th megahub store at 5555 Zuni Road SE. A megahub serves as a retail shop and distribution facility for all other AutoZones in New Mexico. Then in September, WingStop inked a lease and expects to open in early 2021.
The space AutoZone moved into was previously occupied by a John Brooks Supermarket that closed in 2013. According to city permits, AutoZone occupies 29,540 square feet at the center, leaving another nearly 12,000 square feet for a junior anchor, said Todd Stone, the president and CEO of California-based Ray Stone Commercial, which manages the majority of the property.
The new tenants help to fill out the shopping center and its existing tenants, national retailers Big Lots, Dollar Tree, Little Caesars and others.
With the addition of AutoZone and its 24-hour distribution operation, and the upgraded LED lighting, Stone said it will help lower crime numbers near the shopping center.
"We can't guarantee safety, but we can always try and make things safer," Stone said.
AutoZone officials could not be reached for comment.
Daniel Kearney, Austin Tidwell and Rob Powell of Resolut RE are the leasing brokers for the shopping center. After getting the listing in summer 2018, the occupancy rate increased from 66% to 84%, Kearney said.
The Resolut RE team is marketing the space occupied by the former Main Chinese Buffet toward medical tenants interested in leasing or an outright purchase. Kearney said they are looking at a dental practices, urgent care facilities, orthopedics or physical therapy tenants as candidates for the vacancies. In total, about 5,300 square feet is available for prospective tenants.
A timeline of converting the building for a medical use won't be determined until a user for at least half of the building is found.
"AutoZone is opening, WingStop is coming and we're getting some interest from other retailers ... that will help attract some medical users as well," Stone said. "The tenants have done well during well during the tough economy."
Resolut RE ranked No. 12 on Business First's List of Largest Commercial Real Estate Firms with $14.73 million in commercial transaction volume in New Mexico in 2019.