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New ownership to lead to new hope for Lincoln Gateway

By: Stephanie Dumm, News Messenger Reporter
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A gym and retail shops that could “complement” a fitness facility will come to Lincoln via the recent sale of the Lincoln Gateway shopping center.

That’s according to Robb Osborne, senior vice president for Sacramento’s Voit Real Estate Services office.

Osborne represented the buyer, Lincoln Gateway Ventures, LLC, a subsidiary of Vanir Group of Companies, which he said is a construction management and development company.

The seller of the 74,586 mixed-use retail and office property, Panattoni, was represented in the sale by Voit Sacramento brokers Gary Gallelli and Mickey Turpin.

The sale price of the shopping center is undisclosed, according to Osborne.

“During escrow, we were able to negotiate a deal with an 18,000 square foot gym to take over the remaining space in the building that Little Caesars is in,” Osborne said by phone on Friday. “They signed a 10-year lease and expect to be open by the end of the year. Having that signed took a lot of risk out of the deal.”

California Ripped Fitness will be the gym occupying the building that currently houses Little Caesars Pizza, according to Osborne.

“The success of this transaction speaks to the quality of the property, as well as the strength of the buyer. Lincoln Gateway Ventures, LLC is financially capable of implementing tenant improvements as needed, which will allow the retail space to be leased quickly,” Osborne said. “By securing this sizeable lease (of the local gym), our team was able to further stabilize the asset, reducing the risk of the investment, which was beneficial to both the buyer and the seller.”

Osborne also said that having “Walmart going in down the street is important,” and also cited the Highway 65 bypass as another factor for the center’s potential success.

“I think the combination of Walmart, the bypass and having (the gym as a) tenant is the perfect solution to a stale project,” Osborne said.

Osborne said the center is “like being in the gateway of downtown,” and the bypass would make it so residents “can walk down there and drive easier.”

Lincoln Gateway, which was built four years ago, according to Osborne, is an eight-building center “made up of 32,757 square feet of retail space and 41,829 square feet of office space.”

Osborne said the previous owner, Panattoni Development Company, “couldn’t compete in the market place with the amount of debt” on the property.

“They built it at the wrong time and couldn’t make the numbers pencil,” Osborne said.

Tenants that currently occupy the shopping center include Little Caesars Pizza, Auto Zone, Lincoln Express Dog Wash, Blush Salon and Massage Envy.

Lincoln Express Dog Wash, which currently occupies the same building the gym will go in, will be relocating their businesses within the same shopping center, Osborne said.

In the buildings that run along Highway 65, or G Street, Osborne said Lincoln Gateway LLC is “trying to get retail” to complement the gym, such as a yoga studio, vitamin shop and physical therapist.

“We are looking at coffee shops for one end cap and a restaurant, whether it’s a breakfast place like Denny’s or IHOP or something a little higher end for an evening dinner,” Osborne said. “For the back buildings, we are thinking medical offices or a CPA. We’re talking to a general practitioner, Quest Diagnostics, and possibly a dialysis group, anything that caters to the overall market, including Sun City.”

Osborne called the gym “the catalyst for the project.”

Lincoln’s assistant director of development services George Dellwo called the sale “exciting.”

To his knowledge, Dellwo said, “the current buyer hasn’t contacted anyone in the development services department about any potential uses or tenant improvements.” The city would “facilitate and help out in getting tenants in those office suites and commercial suites,” according to Dellwo.

“We will assist the new buyers in whatever way we can for them to get tenants in there and in production,” Dellwo said on Friday afternoon. “A downtown that is alive is a downtown that’s great. It’s a win-win situation where the private sector makes a bill of it, and in turn, the citizens get access to services. The city also benefits from having a vibrant and lively downtown.”

Susie Atchley, who owns Lincoln Express Dog Wash with her husband Pete, said Monday that she thinks it’s “really good” to have a new owner.

“It’s going to lower our rent by half, since we’ll be going into a smaller space. When we came in here, the old owners wouldn’t let us do any less than 1,200 square feet,” Atchley said. “What’s cool is the space we’re going into is perfect, it’s 674 square feet.”

Atchley said having 1,200 square feet “is too much for what we are doing,” which is washing and grooming dogs.

Atchley said the new owners are “covering the costs for the move.”

“They are definitely motivated to get it (the center) filled up really fast, and are good about helping people do what they need to do to get them in here,” Atchley said of the owners. “I think it will bring in a lot of traffic we didn’t get in before.”

A Sizzler or a Fresh Choice were two places Atchley said she’d like to see move into the center, for their salad bar and steak options.

Nicole Walz, owner of Blush Salon, said she is “very excited” that the center is under new ownership.

“We had property managers before, but now it’s people vested and that care about our interests,” Walz said. “I think it’s really good.”

Walz said Blush has been located in the center for a year, and business “has been really good.”

“(The new owners) will help even more,” Walz said. “I’m excited because I think it will bring in new people. We still get people that didn’t know we were here.”