The Beacon La Costa shopping center in Carlsbad is rapidly filling up with new tenants after Asana Partners acquired the nearly vacant property in 2019 and gave it a $10 million facelift.
“We’ve been filling empty spaces post remodel,” said Clare Walsh, senior director of leasing strategy at Asana Partners.
“All of our work is done, and we’re just focused on helping the retailers open and then programming events to help attract people and bring people to the center,” Walsh said.
The facelift kept the overall architectural Mediterranean modern design of the shopping center but updated facades.
“We did all new storefronts, new landscaping, and new lighting. We also created this kind of central gathering space where we host events at the property,” Walsh said. “We’ve been swinging a lot of hammers.”
Based in Charlotte, NC, Asana Partners bought The Beacon at La Costa, 7710-7770 El Camino Real, for $57.6 million.
The 122,000-square-foot shopping center has about 93,000 square feet of ground-floor retail space and second-floor office space.
“It was pretty tired,” Walsh said. “It just hadn’t been touched in decades, so it needed a facelift.”
Asana in December added nine new tenants, with two more slated to open in early 2024, and a third planning to open mid-year.
“We have multiple retailers that this is either their first location in San Diego or their first location at all,” Walsh said. “How we’re merchandising the project is really around creating an environment and merchandising mix that’s busy in what we call an 18-hours-a-day period, where it’s the center of the community. It was really and truly around being that kind of one-stop-shop for everyone living and working in the neighborhood.”
As of December, all but four of the shopping center’s retail suites had been leased, Walsh said.
New additions that opened in December were Pitfire Pizza, Fuze Jewelry, The Lullabar café and nail salon that offers temporary childcare for children under 5; Lola 55, a Mexican restaurant, Taylor Custom Rings, The Gentleman’s Lounge hair styling salon, Paddywax Candelbar, a do-it-yourself candle crafting store, Specialized, a bicycle store, and The Shade Store.
Planning to open in early 2024 are A Line Boutique, a women’s wear boutique, and Beacon Optometry.
Arhaus, a furniture store, is slated to open in mid-2024.
Retail Going Strong
Going into the end of 2023, center retailers were reporting that sales were strong.
“Retail is the darling right now in real estate,” Walsh said. “A lot of the groups, both fashion and restaurants that I talk to, are saying that the customer is still strong and continues to spend dollars.”
There was concern earlier in 2023 over what Walsh called “macroeconomic headwinds, people concerned about a recession for the better of over 12 months.”
“We really weren’t sure what that was going to do to spending during the holidays, but overall, it’s been very strong and positive,” Walsh said. “Definitely, I think it’s a more robust holiday season than people were expecting.”
Nationally, Mastercard SpendingPulse reported that U.S. retail sales, excluding automotive, rose 3.1% year over year this holiday season.
The increase was led by restaurants, which reported a 7.8% year-over-year increase, followed by online retail sales that were up by 6.3% and in-store retail sales that rose by 2.2% year-over-year, according to Mastercard SpendingPulse.
Headquarters: Charlotte, NC
Managing partners: Terry Brown, Jason Tompkins and Sam Judd
Business: retail investment
Notable: Asana Partners specializes in mixed use and retail projects throughout the U.S