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The shopping center site of ‘The 40-Year-Old Virgin” gets a re-make

Al Urbanski
Encino Courtyard in Encino, Calif.

Fifteen years ago, it was the setting of a hit movie, “The 40-Year-Old Virgin.” But when Blackstone acquired Encino Courtyard as part of a larger industrial portfolio in 2016, the Southern California shopping center appeared a little like movies of that era do when compared with high-def films: a little fuzzy around the edges.

“We went over there and took a look, and both the physical plant and the tenants were underwhelming. The aesthetics had been neglected for some time,” said David Dieterle, executive VP of leasing and development for ShopCore Properties, which is owned by Blackstone. “But when we saw its location and its position in the market, we said, ‘Geez, there’s an opportunity here.’” 

More than 140,000  people live within a three-mile radius of Encino Courtyard and boast an average household income of $121,282, so ShopCore set out to woo them with a re-imagined center featuring new facades, national restaurant brands,  fitness, and a 49,500-sq.-ft. Target anchor.

“When we came up with the development plan, we had a ton of interest from potential tenants,” Dieterle said. “We had several fitness brands wanting a spot and wound up going with Planet Fitness, which we felt was long-term for us because of its value proposition.”

Food and beverage options had all been local operations. One, Western Bagel, remains, but will be joined by Shake Shack, The Kebab Shop, Blaze Pizza, and Pressed Juicery at the 106,000-sq.-ft. center. Encino Courtyard has remained open during its redevelopment, though most of the new tenants—including Target and the restaurants—won’t open until 2021. 

“We have about 60 centers and look at all of them in terms of what can we do to make the tenant mix the most appealing to local consumers,” Dieterle said. “We think Encino Courtyard will serve as a model.”

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