By Kelsi Maree Borland |

Despite the ongoing pandemic, the firm has seen momentum in the retail market with new construction projects.

Lewis Retail Centers is having a good year, all things considered. Despite the ongoing pandemic, the retail firm has seen momentum in the retail market, particularly with new construction projects. This includes the opening of a new grocery-anchored center, construction of a new anchor tenant and center enhancements.

Del Taco at The Marketplace at Calimesa built by Lewis Retail Centers

Del Taco at The Marketplace at Calimesa

“Our company has deep expertise in developing shopping centers that perform well across all phases of the economic cycle. As one of the largest shopping center developers in California and Nevada, we have 34 existing centers and more than 10 new projects underway. Simply put, we know what works, regardless of the economic climate,” Randall W. Lewis, EVP of marketing for Lewis Retail Centers, tells

While there is increased risk during the pandemic and with heightened market uncertainty, Lewis has focused on its location-driven strategy to continue to remain active in 2020. “Our strategy includes studying location data over decades, paying close attention to demographic trends and market-specific data, and positioning our tenants and our centers for strong performance in the short and long term,” says Lewis. Using this strategy, our grocery-anchored centers, casual food concepts and our other needs-based tenants have continued to perform well throughout the pandemic. We also research underserved categories within a particular geography so that we can provide what is needed in those markets.”

The Marketplace at Calimesa in Riverside County is one of the firm’s most recent projects, and a good example of the strategy. “This center, which has no competition for several miles, is anchored by a Stater Bros. market and also contains a Starbucks and Del Taco, to be followed by Cold Stone Creamery, Jack in the Box and several personal-care service retailers,” says Lewis. “The center has answered pent-up demand, which has generated high traffic from the moment each of our first tenants opened, which is a very good sign for the ongoing health of this new center.”

The activity hasn’t slowed. Lewis recently broke ground on a 62,000-square-foot Safeway at Damonte Ranch Town Center in Reno, Nevada. “This is a growing submarket with just under 20,000 households in close proximity, which means the demand for a large grocery store in this area is only going to increase,” says Lewis.

As the firm moves forward on new projects, it continues to execute thorough due diligence to hedge against the new market environment. “All of our recent activity is based on sound interpretation of critical data and awareness of consumer needs in each market so that we are prepared to meet those needs in a timely fashion,” says Lewis.