Popular Long Beach center gets a new owner

Al Urbanski
Good community programming and region-specific merchandising is the new prescription for successful retail centers, according to DJM.

A California-based developer of open-air retail properties that plans to double the square footage of its portfolio this year has set off aggressively on its mission in the first days of 2022.

DJM this week acquired Long Beach Exchange, a 246,500-sq.-ft. lifestyle property in Long Beach, Calif. that opened in 2018 with a tenant list that includes Whole Foods, Orangetheory, Ulta, Nordstrom Rack, and In N Out Burger. Its centerpiece is The Hangar, a food hall in a 17,000-sq.-ft. space fashioned after a vintage aviation hangar.

“Long Beach Exchange is a perfect example of what retail should look like in the future," said Scott Burnham, CEO of Burnham-Ward Properties, which partnered with DJM on the deal. "The continued success of LBX during these unprecedented times is a true testament of its consumer appeal, which has ensured that the center will grow and thrive.”

DJM's California portfolio includes Hollywood & Highland (soon to be Ovation Hollywood) in Los Angeles, Lido Marina Village in Newport Beach, and Bella Terra, an 853,000-sq.-ft. outdoor shopping center in Huntington Beach that also includes Burnham-Ward’s PGIM Real Estate as a partner.

One significant hole DJM will need to fill at LBX is the space vacated by Orchard Supply Hardware, but PGIM’s managing director Tim Hennessey was confident that DJM would make good use of the empty space.

"We have seen firsthand the transformation DJM has created at Bella Terra and we are excited to continue our work together at Long Beach Exchange," Hennessey said.

Chad Cress, DJM’s chief creative officer credits thoughtful community programming and region-specific merchandising for a resurgence of business at its outdoor centers.

"Although COVID undoubtedly impacted retail across all sectors, we're now experiencing a tremendous return to growth across our entire portfolio, with foot traffic and sales numbers surpassing even pre-pandemic figures," Cress said.

The sale price of the LBX was not disclosed.

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