YUMA, Arizona — Released November 3, 2014 — Construction is complete on Phase 2 of the Fortuna Commons shopping center, anchored by Fry’s Food & Drug. New tenants include Firehouse Subs, Goodwill, and AutoZone.
In the spring of 2008, Brown Group’s Gary Brown and Todd Kjar had a vision. “We noticed that the original Fry’s in the Fortuna Foothills couldn’t keep their shelves stocked. The store was busting at the seams with temporary storage behind it,” says Brown. Having developed multiple Fry’s-anchored shopping centers, the business partners went to management with a proposal, “How about moving across the street and significantly expanding the size of your Yuma store?” The new, large format Fry’s (101,000 square feet versus the original store’s 50,000 square feet) opened on August 12, 2011. It is one of the chain’s highest performing stores.
Uncommon vision enabled Brown Group to produce a new project during economic times that put a number of others in retail development out of business. When Brown Group closed on the property in May 2009, financial conditions were challenging at best. “The world was a crazy place at that time, real estate values had crashed, unemployment was high, the Feds were trying to save the financial system and then promote growth, most if not all housing markets had crashed, and loan defaults of all types were commonplace,” says Brown. “There was no way to obtain a loan for almost any purpose, and virtually no new development was taking place.” But yet in the middle of all of this chaos, Brown Group purchased a property and planned a new shopping center in Yuma, AZ. Says Brown, “As a byproduct of the economic conditions, the project required extended time frames to build, and the development of additional retail was done in phases.”
Fortuna Commons Phase I was completed in November 2012. It is 100% leased with Aaron’s furniture, appliances and electronics; Chase bank; Cost Cutters family hair salon; Denny’s restaurant; GNC nutritional supplements; Ocotillo Dental Associates; and #1 Nails Salon.
Goodwill, the first Phase 2 shop to open, did so on September 12, 2014. Firehouse Subs is also open for business, serving their steaming hot subs. Lastly, AutoZone has signed a lease and is currently going through the entitlement process.
All “Fortuna” (Spanish for “good fortune”) Commons tenants are doing well.
Scottsdale-based developer Brown Group, Inc. has built 24 successful shopping centers with more than 6 million square feet of retail real estate; http://browngroupinc.com/. Brown Group is currently finishing another Fry’s-anchored center, Sundome Crossing in Sun City West, AZ.
Gary Brown is available for interview via email. Please contact Wendy Jenson at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photo Credit: Paul Markow
Caption, ID’s are from left to right (i.e. Todd wears glasses):
Brown Group partners Gary Brown and Todd Kjar review plans at the firm’s Scottsdale office.