Retail Real Estate from Pasadena to Claremont
Archive for the ‘Azusa’ Category.
A new Chick-fil-A restaurant is under construction at the southeast corner of Citrus and Alosta, at the site of the former Sizzler. No opening date has been set, although it is tentatively scheduled for Spring 2013.
The company started in Atlanta with its first restaurant in 1967. Today, Chick-fil-A operates over 1,615 stores in 39 states and Washington, D.C., with total sales over $4.1 billion.
The new restaurant is the result of an idea of an Azusa Pacific University undergraduate student. The story can be found here: www.theclause.org/2012/05/eat-mor-chikin-chick-fil-a-coming-to-azusa/
The Outlet by ELS (www.theOutletbyELS.com) opened at 880 S. Azusa Avenue in Azusa on September 11, 2012. The 46,000 square foot store is a “premier discount outlet store which provides a unique mix of merchandise and excellent service that brings excitement and value” to its customers.
Unique mix of merchandise, indeed. The have everything from canned goods to water heaters, toilets, tools, and clothes. I even saw a couple of snow shovels. Not sure those are going to be moving any time soon.
The city of Azusa acquired parcels and assembled them through the eminent domain process, and then sold the parcels to Charvat Family, LLC.
I went into the store on a Thursday around noon, and there were probably three dozen shoppers in the store. Quite a bit of traffic for mid-day during the week. I saw some pretty good deals. I even walked back out to my car to get my wallet so I could buy some office supplies!
The property is located at the northeast corner of Azusa Avenue and Arrow Highway.
The new Applebee’s on North Citrus Avenue just south of Alosta is set to open on or about August 8, 2011. As the sign indicates, they are now taking applications. Call the number for more information.
Santana’s Mexican Food will be adding their 13th location at the site of the former Arby’s at 700 E. Alosta Avenue, just west of Citrus Crossing Shopping Center. Evidently there is a huge demand for Mexican fast food in the area given the large number of eateries in the immediate vicinity. Being a huge fan of the cuisine, it is my goal to try them all!
This month’s entry focuses on the closures and layoffs of just Los Angeles County, rather than including nearby areas such as Chino or neighboring Orange County cities, simply because the list is growing too large.
What I find interesting in this list is the number of medical jobs being eliminated (City of Hope 185 employees and Antelope Valley Hospital 45 employees). Supposedly medical jobs are one of the growth industries. Not surprising, aerospace is taking another hit, with Ball (120), JPL (33) and Northrup (75) eliminating a total of 228 positions. With budget cutbacks and aerospace moving out of California, I think this trend will continue.
Company Address Closure or Layoff No. Impacted Impact Date
City of Hope Medical Group (CCSMG) 1500 E. Duarte Rd., Duarte Closure 185 3/1/11
Disney Interactive Studios 521 Circle Seven Dr., Glendale Layoff 54 3/25/11
Dunn Edwards Corp. 3525 Garfield Ave., & 4925 E. 52nd Place, Vernon Closure 127 3/31/11
Pactiv Corp. 14505 Proctor Ave., City of Industry Closure 76 3/31/11
Spoonful Management 643 N. La Cienega, Los Angeles Closure 69 3/29/11
Ball Corp. 500 Crenshaw Blvd. Closure 120 9/30/11
The Bicycle Casino 7301 Eastern Ave., Bell Layoff 99 5/7/11
Antelope Valley Hospital 1600 West Avenue J, Lancaster Layoff 45 4/11/11
Southwire Co. 2630 E. El Presidio St., Long Beach Closure 21 4/29/11
Howrey 550 S. Hope St., Los Angeles Closure 70 5/9/11
The Regency 10900 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 1700, Los Angeles Closure 52 4/26/11
Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) 4800 Oak Grove Dr., Pasadena Layoff 33 4/24/11
HSBC Processing Services 931 Corporate Center Dr., Pomona Closure 153 4/3/11
Northrop Grumman Corp. (Aerospace Systems) One Space Park, Redondo Beach Layoff 75 5/1/11
The Azusa City Council recently gave Applebee’s a $200,000 loan in order to entice them to open on the currently vacant pad at Citrus Crossing. The store will be approximately 5,700 square feet and is slated to open in the Spring of 2011.
With Azusa Pacific University located across the street and the lack of restaurants around, Applebee’s will likely be a big hit for the community.
Azusa is an 8.9 square mile city located in the northeastern portion of Los Angeles County at the base of the San Gabriel Mountains. Like the other cities along the Foothill Retail Corridor, there is a gentle slope from south to north heading toward the mountains.
The city was incorporated December 29, 1898. The source of the name Azusa probably derives from the Tongva name Asuksagna, but the legend is that it means “everything from A to Z in the USA.”
California State Route 39 (aka, Azusa Avenue) runs north and south from the southern end of the city deep into the San Gabriel Mountains and into Angeles National Forest, which makes Azusa a very well traversed city for people seeking recreation in the mountains. This is a beautiful benefit to Azusa, but it also limits Azusa’s expansion north because the San Gabriel Mountains line the north border of Azusa. So although Azusa is urban, it takes only a few minutes to feel completely secluded in nature. Alosta Avenue and Foothill Boulevard run east and west through the city. Although decommissioned now, Foothill Boulevard was at one time better known as Route 66, America’s Highway.
Azusa has many large employers from manufacturing plants to large academic institutions. As seen in Table 1, 13 of the top 18 employers in the city of Azusa are manufacturing. The government and educational services are also heavily prevalent in Azusa.
Table 1: Azusa - Largest Employers
Business Name Type Number of Employees
Azusa Unified School District Education 1,600
Northrop Grumman Manufacturer 1,100
Azusa Pacific University Education 900
Monrovia Nursery Agriculture 700
City of Azusa Government 522
Costco General Consumer Goods 311
Berger Bros. Manufacturer 300
Pacific Precision Metals Manufacturer 250
Target General Consumer Goods 225
Tru Wood Prducts Manufacturer 160
Wynn Oil Company Manufacturer 150
Rain Bird Manufacturer 132
California Amforge Manufacturer 106
Vulcan Manufacturer 100
Naked Juice Manufacturer 75
Morris National Candy Manufacturer 70
Physician's Formula Manufacturer 70
Trek Industries Manufacturer 37
Heppner Hardwood Manufacturer 63
Although manufacturing has the most companies employing people, educational services and health care and social assistance have the highest percentage of employment (19.8%) in the city (Table 2).
Table 2: Azusa Industry Profiles
INDUSTRY Estimated # Employees Percent
Civilian employed population 16 years and over 22,869 100%
Agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting, and mining 337 1.5%
Construction 1,839 8.0%
Manufacturing 3,277 14.3%
Wholesale trade 873 3.8%
Retail trade 2,512 11.0%
Transportation and warehousing, and utilities 958 4.2%
Information 484 2.1%
Finance and insurance, and real estate and rental and leasing 1,439 6.3%
Professional, scientific, and management, and administrative and waste management services 2,414 10.6%
Educational services, and health care and social assistance 4,538 19.8%
Arts, entertainment, and recreation, and accommodation, and food services 2,251 9.8%
Other services, except public administration 1,185 5.2%
Public administration 762 3.3%
Azusa has multiple educational institutions. The Azusa Unified School District offers public schooling for children grades K-12. It consists of 11 elementary schools, 3 middle schools and 3 high schools. Azusa also has a Catholic elementary school (K-8), St. Frances of Rome School, as well as a Christian Elementary School, Light and Life School. Azusa Pacific University is a four year Christian University with over 10,200 students, faculty and staff. Immediately adjacent to Azusa Pacific University to the north is Citrus College, a community college located in Glendora, with over 11,000 students, faculty, and staff.
Table 3: Azusa Educational Attainment
Education Level Estimate Percent
Population 25 years and over 26,039 100%
Less than 9th grade 3,545 13.6%
9th to 12th grade, no diploma 3,158 12.1%
High school graduate (includes equivalency) 7,700 29.6%
Some college, no degree 5,591 21.5%
Associate's degree 1,865 7.2%
Bachelor's degree 2,663 10.2%
Graduate or professional degree 1,517 5.8%
When it comes to transportation Azusa has many accessible transport systems, and there are plans to improve. Interstate 210 (aka, the “Foothill Freeway”) runs east and west through the middle of the city. The city is also very close to both the 57 and 605 freeways (both less than 5 miles depending on what part of the city you are in). Azusa is also serviced by multiple bus routes with service provided by both the Metropolitan Transit Authority (“MTA”) and Foothill Transit.
Table 4: Azusa Commuter Profile
Commute Type Estimate Percent
Workers 16 years and over 22,241 100%
Car, truck, or van -- drove alone 16,008 72.0%
Car, truck, or van -- carpooled 3,730 16.8%
Public transportation (excluding taxicab) 1,000 4.5%
Walked 683 3.1%
Other means 584 2.6%
Worked at home 236 1.1%
Mean travel time to work (minutes) 28.2 (X)
In addition, the construction has begun on the Metro Gold Line Foothill Extension from Pasadena to Azusa. This extension will add two stops in Azusa, which will connect Azusa with light rail to downtown Los Angeles. One of the stops will be across from the new Target at North Azusa Canyon Road just above Foothill Boulevard, the other will be at North Citrus Avenue and near West Foothill Boulevard. Eventually the Gold Line will connect to Ontario Airport.
An image depicting the Gold Line from downtown L.A. to Azusa is shown in Figure 1.
Source: Metro Goldline Foothill Extension Construction Authority
As indicated earlier, Azusa is located at the base of the San Gabriel Mountains to the north, and the western boundary of Azusa is the San Gabriel River. These natural boundaries and the fact that the city is bordered by the cities of Glendora on the east, Duarte and Irwindale to the west and southwest, and Covina to the south, make future retail development in the city limited to redevelopment of existing properties.
Azusa has a similar climate to all cities along the Foothill Retail Corridor. On average July and August are the two highest months with average highs reaching 89 degrees, and February is the rainiest month. December is the coolest month with an average low of 41 degrees.
Azusa is a city of 46,672 people and continues to grow. In Table 5 the social forces of Azusa are illustrated, as well as the data for Los Angeles County in order to give a sense of comparison to how Azusa compares to the rest of the county. The city has a young population, which may be due in large part because of Azusa Pacific University. As seen in Table 5 the homeownership rate is 52% and the people per household is 3.41. People below the poverty rate are about 2.5% higher in Azusa than the average in Los Angeles County. Median household income is just over $53,000 per year.
Table 5: Azusa Demographic Profile
Azusa LA County
Population, 2009 estimate 46,672 9,848,011
Population, 2000 44,712 9,519,331
Persons under 5 years old, percent, 2006-2008 9.3% 7.4%
Persons 65 years old and over, percent, 2006-2008 6.7% 10.6%
Median age (years), 2006-2008 28.8 34.5
Female persons, percent, 2006-2008 48.8% 50.4%
Housing units, 2006-2008 13,491 3,390,793
Homeownership rate, 2006-2008 52.1% 48.9%
Median value of owner-occupied housing units, 2006-2008 $430,600 $564,900
Persons per household, 2006-2008 3.42 3.22
Median household income, 2006-2008 $53,150 $55,452
Per capita money income, 2006-2008 $19,516 $27,264
Persons below poverty, percent, 2006-2008 14.9% 12.2%
The Redevelopment Agency of the City of Azusa put together a five year implementation plan in 2009 for the period beginning in 2010 and finishing in 2014. Following are summaries for the various redevelopment districts.
Downtown North: Complete Disposition and Development Agreement with developer and assist in recruitment of retail and restaurant uses.
Block 36 Development: Complete planning process for Block 36 improvements and finalize Disposition and Development Agreement with developer. Block 36 is located at the southeast corner of Azusa and Foothill and is show in the picture below.
Block 37 Development: Continue to provide recruitment and retention assistance to businesses.
Arrow & Azusa: Reevaluate development opportunities as economic conditions improve and solicit developer and tenant interest.
Costco East: Work with Costco, Northrop, S&S Foods and other surrounding businesses to develop economic strategy for expansion project.
Enterprise Site Reuse: Evaluate the acquisition and reuse potential of the site on Azusa Avenue (south of the 210 Freeway) and consolidation with existing Agency property.
D-Club Site Reuse: Evaluate development opportunities as economic conditions improve and solicit developer and tenant interest.
Foothill & Dalton Mixed Use: As economic conditions improve, work with developer to proceed with entitled improvements.
Capital Improvements: During the next five years, the Agency will assist in the funding of selected capital projects and public improvements such as the Block 37 parking structure at 6th Street and San Gabriel and the Gold Line parking structure.
Potential retail expenditures for residents of Azusa (Table 6) comes from a 2008 study done by the U.S. Department of Labor. In this particular table, it assumes the average median household income in Azusa is $39,191 therefore the income bracket of $30,000-$39,999 is used. To get the average annual expenditures the total number of households in Azusa was multiplied by household expenditure in this bracket.
Table 6: Azusa Retail Expenditures
Expenditure Category Household Income % Household Expenditure Citywide Aggregate Expenditure Potential
Food at home 8.8% $3,449 $42,914,823
Food away from home 5.6% $2,195 $27,384,951
Alcoholic beverages 0.9% $353 $4,350,617
Housekeeping supplies 1.4% $549 $6,955,355
Furnishings 3.3% $1,293 $16,078,979
Apparel and services 4.4% $1,724 $21,161,739
Vehicle purchases 9.5% $7,917 $98,177,514
Gas and oil 3.8% $1,488 $18,430,283
Other vehicle expenses 6.2% $2,438 $30,200,885
Entertainment 5.1% $1,999 $24,526,779
Personal care 1.3% $509 $6,364,009
Reading 0.3% $118 $1,478,365
Tobacco 0.9% $353 $4,547,732
Miscellaneous 1.6% $327 $7,673,418
Non-retail expenditures 46.2% $18,106 $225,585,669
Total Expenditure Potential 100.0% $39,191 $487,199,950
Total Retail Expenditure Potential 53.8% $21,085 $261,614,281
Table 7 illustrates the retail trade that is going on in Azusa. The information comes from the U.S. Census Bureau Economic Census of 2007. Looking at the 2002 economic census, there have been positive increases in retail trade in the five years in between. The number of establishments increased from 87 to 96, and total sales volume increased from $337,056,000 (2002) to $426,971,00 (2007).
Table 7: Azusa Retail Expenditures by NAICS Code
NAICS Code Description # of Establishments Sales (x 1,000)
44-45 Retail Trade 96 $426,971
441 Motor vehicle and part dealers 15 $29,518
4413 Automotive parts, accessories & tire stores 11 $24,840
442 Furniture & home furnishings stores 2 D
443 Electronics & appliance stores 5 D
444 Building material & garden equipment 5 D
445 Food & beverage stores 23 $47,725
446 Health & personal care stores 7 $19,237
447 Gasoline stations 13 $66,478
448 Clothing & clothing accessories stores 9 D
451 Sporting goods, hobby, book & music stores 3 D
452 General merchandise stores 4 D
453 Miscellaneous store retailers 4 D
454 Nonstore retailers 6 D
Azusa Retail Real Estate
Location - Most of Azusa’s retail properties are located along Foothill Boulevard (which becomes Alosta just west of Citrus Avenue), Azusa Avenue, Arrow Highway and Citrus Avenue. These are the main thoroughfares in the city, and consequently have the highest traffic counts. There are also smaller retail properties on Gladstone.
Inventory – There is approximately 1.3 million square feet of retail space in the city of Azusa ranging from single tenant net leased properties and unanchored strip centers to the largest retail property, Citrus Crossing, a power center located across the street from Azusa Pacific University. Citrus Crossing and APU together have caused the intersection of Citrus Avenue and Alosta Avenue (Route 66) to become the retail epicenter of the city. The total inventory of 1.3 million square feet does not include automotive use, gas stations,
Construction – There has been virtually no new construction in the city in the last five years, other than the 190,000 square foot Target which opened in October 2010. Citrus Crossing was a major redevelopment project by Trachman Indevco, which took a very tired shopping center and turned it into the retail hub of the city.
Vacancy – The historical vacancy rate in the last five years for Azusa has ranged from a low of 2% in the second quarter of 2007 to a high of 8% in third quarter 2009. The current rate is about 4%, with most of the vacancy occurring in older class C properties. The addition of the new Target with 160,000 square feet has had an impact on the vacancy and absorption numbers.
Absorption – Absorption has ranged from a low of -30,000 square feet in third quarter 2009, to a high of 20,000 square feet in first quarter 2007. The low figures on absorption is due to the lack of developable land in the market.
Rental Rates – Rental rates range from a low of about $11.00 per square foot per year to a high of about $30.00. Citrus Crossing commands the highest rental rates for shop space, whereas the lowest rental rates are found in the unanchored centers in the southern portion of the city.
Citrus Crossing – This community center (pictured below) is approximately 170,000 square feet and features anchor tenants Fresh & Easy, Kragen Auto Parts, a 99 Cent Only Store, CVS Pharmacy, Regency 10 Theatres, and Ross. Inline tenants include Kelly’s Coffee, Panda Express, Jamba Juice, Pinkberry, Chipotle, and Payless Shoes. There are plans are to build an Applebee’s on the pad along Citrus Avenue.
Edgemont – Located at the northwest corner of East Gladstone Street and South Azusa Avenue, this 158,699 square foot shopping center lacks a credit anchor, and the asking rent of $1.50 per square foot triple net reflects that, as well as a lower traffic count.
Azusa College Center – Anchored by Stater Bros. and Starbucks, this nearly 71,000 square foot neighborhood center also has a Dollar Bill Store, a Subway, a cleaners, and a Marie Callendar’s on the northwest corner of Barranca and Alosta. Asking rents for this center are about $1.95 per square foot per month, triple net.
Costco – Wholesale retailer Costco is located on the western edge of Azusa on Foothill Boulevard. This big box store is approximately 111,000 square feet, and has its own brand gasoline station on a pad along Foothill Boulevard.
Target – Opened in October 2010, this store is nearly 190,000 square feet and features 39 rows of groceries, and a Starbucks. What is unique about this store is that the sales floor is on the second level above the ground floor parking. Access is easy via an elevator or an escalator. When customers are done shopping, they can put their carts on a separate escalator going down.
Austin Gordon, Senior Economics Major, Azusa Pacific University
I stopped by the new Target under construction at 809 North Azusa Avenue the other day and was able to speak to Kurt the construction superintendent. He indicated that the sales and warehouse area comprise about 190,000 square feet.
Target team members were busy working away inside, putting up shelves and stocking them. Outside, workers were finishing details like the red tile on the building and landscaping, all in anticipation of the grand opening on October 9th.
This two story structure has an innovative approach to land use. The retail sales area is on the second floor and is accessed via elevator or escalator, with a huge parking lot on the ground floor that will be easily accessible from Azusa Avenue going north, San Gabriel Avenue going south, or Ninth Street going east and west. In the near future, Metro Gold Line riders will be able to get off at the Azusa-Alameda station directly across Azusa Avenue.
I anticipate the new Target and eventually the Azusa-Alameda Gold Line station will be driving forces increasing the number of shoppers to the area which will have an overall beneficial effect on the downtown Azusa retail area around Foothill Boulevard, approximately two blocks south of the new Target and Gold Line station.