Principal at Bloom Commercial Real Estate
Josh Bloom, 36, sees firsthand how Minnesota shopping center owners are working to stay current by repositioning their properties with fresh concepts and design improvements.
St. Paul-based Bloom Commercial Real Estate — run by Bloom and his father Tim Bloom — is involved in several such projects in the Twin Cities and outstate Minnesota. The firm also is busy helping expanding retailers find locations, including Five Guys Burgers and Fries, Primp women's clothing, Perkins, Verizon and Liquor Boy.
The pair launched their boutique retail firm in 2010 after leaving CB Richard Ellis (now CBRE) as a leading retail team. Tim Bloom was a retail broker there for 25 years and Josh Bloom joined him in 2006. The pair specializes in retail from the tenant, landlord and development side.
Q: Why are more landlords undertaking repositionings?
A: The market is tight for good retail, and it's continuing to get tighter because there is really no one building larger projects. But rather than just put lipstick on a pig, you really have to come in and do some thinking with respect to how you're re-tenanting and the money that gets spent.
Q: What projects are you working on?
A: We reshaped the Highland Village Center [in St. Paul] with a new tenant base. We put in Panera Bread and HealthPartners and other tenants. We're the broker for IRET Properties on two of their repositioned centers. We're about 98 percent done with Maplewood Square in Rochester, where the grocer left and everything was pretty much vacant. We filled up the small-shop space and repositioned it with a new, large fitness club and grocer Fareway Foods. And at IRET's Westlake Plaza in Forest Lake, Rainbow Foods left and we're putting in Aldi and Verizon and looking for some other larger tenants.
Q: What retailers are expanding?
A: We're rolling out Five Guys; we have 10 open and we're laying out the entire Twin Cities market for 27 stores. We represent Primp women's clothing. They're at Selby and Dale in St. Paul and the Shops at West End at Interstate 394 and Hwy. 100. We also put in Rainbow Foods, Noodles & Co., Phresh spa salon and Liquor Boy at West End.
Q: What do you like about being part of a father-and-son team?
A: I wanted to work with and be mentored by my dad because of his deal history. He did the Ikea in front of the Mall of America and the assemblage of land for the Best Buy world headquarters. He brought all of the Galyan's, which are now Dick's Sporting Goods, to the Twin Cities and Kansas City. You couldn't ask for a better teacher.
Liz Wolf is an Eagan-based freelance writer. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.