This pristine property was under private ownership with 90% of its tenancy comprised of well-known and highly profitable national chains that attract millions of customers around the world on a daily basis. This strong portfolio of tenants made this property an absolute dream to add to the Black Lion portfolio. The success of this purchase was built on a strategic, visionary, long-term approach to sustainable growth and redevelopment. However, acquiring a property this successful required a proven track record. The challenge for this acquisition was finding this opportunity and beating out the stiff competition to buy it. After COVID-19 struck, it prompted the seller to put this prized property up for sale. That provided Black Lion a chance to figuratively “pounce” on this target. But Oracle Wetmore is considered a gem in the eyes of commercial real estate companies in the Tucson market. It is situated at arguably the prime intersection in the City. When selling properties of this magnitude, sellers look for the most qualified buyers—those with solid balance sheets and who have previously handled deals of this size and scope. For Black Lion, the test was to show one of the country’s largest REITs why it should sell this trophy property to our team instead of institutional and other companies vying for it.
A “Class A” property such as Oracle Wetmore goes on the market very rarely. Finding a property like it, at its price point, is like finding a unicorn in the wild. In the case of Black Lion, the combination of being ready and decisive when an opportunity presents itself, and being prepared to see the deal through as promised, allowed for our timely acquisition of this stunning asset. Unlike the other transformation projects in the Black Lion family, Oracle Wetmore was not an example of the team solving a complex redevelopment problem. Instead, it came down to old-fashioned hard work paying off, and having a team that could execute another major transaction by using excellent troubleshooting skills, veteran expertise, and focus. With no major setbacks, problems, or unforeseen circumstances, this property has been a tremendous asset to the Black Lion portfolio. One of the reasons for this success is the culmination of years of dedication, savvy investment strategy, and a strong history of successful renovations.
National chains such as PetSmart, Walgreens, Cost Plus World Market, Ulta Beauty, Jared Jewelry, JoAnn Fabrics & Crafts, BJ’s Restaurant & Brewhouse, Jamba Juice, Bassett Home Furnishings, Chipotle, and dozens more make up the exclusive tenant roster. One of the highlights that really sets this location apart is that over half of the tenants have been at Oracle Wetmore for more than a decade, making this highly sought after retail space the most famous commercial shopping center in Tucson. Its grounds and architecture are state-of-the-art, which allowed Black Lion to focus on placing the last few new tenants, as opposed to having to invest in time-intensive capital improvements. Representing the nationally known Oracle Retail Corridor, this center is only two miles away from several other major shopping centers that make up the most treasured strip of retail space in Tucson. Boasting an impressive 153 restaurants and over 50 entertainment tenants, this two-mile stretch of road is a highly traversed destination for local residents. In fact, Oracle Wetmore itself receives an unheard of 2.3 million visitors per year. With beautiful buildings, strong tenancies, and a draw of loyal local consumers, it is easy to see why this is such a revered property in Black Lion’s portfolio.
This is a simple case of knowing when and where to invest. In commercial real estate negotiations, it is important to know what to say “yes” to and what deals to let go of. Black Lion proves once again that they are among the most skilled teams of highly qualified commercial real estate experts in the nation. They have the foresight to make uncommonly accurate predictions and turn them into rewarding returns for their investors, and transformative experiences for members of the communities they serve.