RRER has been helping owners and communities understand and reposition their retail assets for years.

What Makes RRER Different?

Decades of living and breathing retail real estate have created an in depth knowledge about this highly specific asset class. RRER continues to interface with the retail industry in ways that enables it to keep up on the latest trends, especially during retail turbulent times.

I was with Starwood Retail Partners, when we hired Christine Fistenberg, and her team as our mall redevelopment consultant on Plaza West Covina in West Covina. Christine managed the team expertly, and was committed to meeting the financial goals of Starwood Retail Partners throughout the process. Christine made recommendations for the overall redevelopment strategy. She prepared the pre-development performa, she managed the outreach to 3rd party venfors, she was our interface with the City of West Covina. She kept us all on time, and on budget! Christine treated our capital as if it was her own. I would hire Christine again.
Starwood Testimonial

Please review some of our Case Studies below to get more information as to what RRER can do to help you:

RRER Consulting was hired by the City to critique the current downtown retail plan and make suggestions for its change, if any. This included policy changes to the Downtown Specific Plan for implementing new suggestions.  Many suggestions were made in a report to City Council that RRER Consulting felt would stabilize and enhance the City’s current retail area in the Downtown core. In addition, mixed-use development proposals were analyzed for their viability of the retail component.

Worked on a team of consultants that was asked to design and outline implementation components of changing an existing shopping center (power center) into a mixed use downtown with residential, hotels and retail. The team had to win City Councils approval of a preferred plan. Then outreach to the citizens to sell the plan and ultimately sell the concept to the private property owners so as the re-development process could begin. (Ongoing)

Worked on a team of consultants that advised the City about the possibility of enhancement for the retail in the Mission San Jose area.

RRER Consulting* was hired as a sub consultant for the City of Morgan Hill as the City was updating its Specific Plan for Monterey Highway with the specific job of analyzing each intersection along Monterey Highway to determine if retail should be allowed, suggested or required. This included two City Council/Planning Commission hearings to present the findings.

RRER Consulting** was hired in November of 2016 for the express purpose of strategically outlining and implementing a plan for the redevelopment of the Plaza West Covina Mall in West Covina, CA.

Scope of Work has included: Creating the strategy for gaining entitlements with the City of West Covina, including the purchase of the City’s land to be included into the final re-development of the mall; interfacing with the City; identifying and managing action items to be performed by the development team members; researching and organizing contracts with third parties for market studies and legal work; interfacing with architects; and keeping the project on schedule.

RRER Consulting* was commissioned by Safeway Stores to find a site for a new store in the trade area. Deep and ongoing interface with the City Redevelopment Agency was done including the analyzation of all the City owned sites.  The City indicated interest in a Safeway development on a non-City owned parcel with one of the reasons to include it into the Redevelopment Project Area.    After study by Safeway, and much discussion with the Redevelopment agency an offer was submitted to the land owner.  An agreement with the land owner was reached and a deal was arranged to allow the City to step into Safeway’s place after which Safeway would purchase the property from the City directly. After the City bought the property the development team (including me) worked with the community and City to gain support for the proposed project.  After the removal of Redevelopment in 2012, costs increased and made the project unfeasible

The City of Fremont commissioned RRER Consulting* to analyze the possible retail development scenario for an 8 acre commercial/retail site to determine land value.  A full scale development was identified, including interested tenants, site plan and pro-forma.  Ultimately, control of the land was not consummated.

City staff asked RRER Consulting* to review a report, submitted to the City on behalf of a multi-family developer requesting a zoning change on a 8 acre parcel.  The developer wanted to change the zoning from commercial/retail to residential.  The  reviewed report was on the retail market in the City of Fremont and RRER made comments on its accuracy.

City of Hayward hired RRER Consulting* to analyze a specific development proposal on a mixed use site in downtown Hayward.  The City wanted more retail than what the original developer proposed. The final product allowed the City of Hayward to avoid a development project where retail was designed in a manner that would not ultimately lease.

The City of Oakland asked Christine Firstenberg to be one of the first members of its Retail Advisory Committee to advise the City regarding retail development.  During the 4 years of activity the Committee gave input on many proposed Oakland projects including the Broadway Valdez Specific Plan.  Christine, as part of the Retail Advisory Committee  gave input directly at City Council meetings.

RRER Consulting* was hired by the City of Mountain View to review opportunities for a grocery store in and around Castro St in the downtown and the grocery industry overall.  The study looked at grocery stores in neighboring downtowns  including the physical and social conditions of such. The produced report gave an in depth view of the grocery industry nationwide and along the San Francisco Peninsula at the time.

RRER Consulting* was retained by the Agency to provide retail advisory services, as needed, for mixed use development and neighborhood and Downtown retail opportunities.

RRER Consulting* was asked to develop a retail revitalization plan for Brentwood’s downtown.  The focus of the analysis was on physical infrastructure and improvements that could be used to strengthen and expand retail in the downtown.  These included streetscape; placement of parking structures and lots; sidewalk widths; and on-street parking.  RRER Consulting* also developed a retail merchandising mix plan that included appropriate retail categories to complement existing retailers in the Downtown based on trade area and competing retail in the area.  The plan also assessed the development readiness of current sites and buildings.  A final phase of the consulting work entailed identifying criteria for selecting a master developer for opportunity site(s) in the downtown.

RRER Consulting* consultants Christine Firstenberg and Leslie Parks completed a comprehensive trade area assessment for the San Jose Redevelopment Agency.  The area was comprised primarily of a few neighborhood strip centers, the largest of which had lost a Lucky supermarket which was a critical anchor store for the trade area.  The loss of this supermarket left a void for the community.  The assessment was done to determine if there was  sufficient market demand to support another supermarket taking into consideration the consolidation and retraction occurring in the industry.

As part of a comprehensive economic development strategic plan, RRER Consulting*  provided a retail analysis that consisted of two phases.  The first phase focused on educating the community about retail fundamentals including an overview of basic retail concepts; the value of retail to the community; and how sites are evaluated by prospective retailers.  The second phase entailed an in-depth trade area/market assessment that identified key retail nodes in the four specific unincorporated areas of the county.  Historic retail expenditure patterns and sales tax leakage in the county were among the factors analyzed.  Four priority opportunity sites were fully analyzed based on specific market and location requirements of suitable retail tenant  categories for those sites.  All findings and recommendations were packaged in three retail briefing papers.  The County’s redevelopment agency was given the implementation tool in which to engage retailers on two of the four recommended sites.

In 2005, the City of El Cerrito retained consultants to create an economic development strategy for the city.  As an independent sub-consultant on the project, RRER Consultant* Leslie Parks served as project manager and co-authored the market assessment and the “Economic Development Action Plan”.  As the assessment determined that the city did not have much opportunity for industrial or office development, the action plan focused on strategies for achieving the community’s desire for more retail shopping opportunities and the City’s goal of strengthening retail and reducing sales tax leakage.  The work  included a study session for the city council, department directors and planning commissioners.  A panel of retail experts—a well-known retail developer, broker and urban design architect—presented their assessment of what the city could do to improve retail for the community.

The City of San Jose recognized the importance of vital retail environments that support neighborhood quality. They believed it important to draw economic activity to the neighborhoods.

RRER  Consulting* (assisted by Bay Area Economics(BAE) was retained by the City’s Office of Economic Development (OED) to lead a study of the San Jose retail market.  The team developed a report to identify underserved sub-markets with opportunities for additional stores that were more suited to the needs of residents in these areas. RRER Consulting* and BAE analyzed household and income characteristics, compared to actual store-by-store retail sales data, to determine unmet demand. This project pioneered the use of GIS to conduct the analysis which resulted in a list of recommended stores for future attraction.

RRER Consulting* and the Conley Consulting Group (CCG) were retained by the Morgan Hill redevelopment Agency to evaluate the opportunities and develop a strategy for repositioning and/or redeveloping the Morgan Hill Plaza shopping center in Morgan Hill.

The viability of the center had declined in recent years, and the Agency was concerned in light of information that the anchor tenant, Albertson’s, was interested in relocating.  With the recent opening of the City’s new Community and Cultural Center across the street, and a new downtown plan recently developed, the Agency looked to plan for the future of the Plaza, which served as a high-profile component of the City’s southern gateway.

The analysis included an assessment of the current situation, a preliminary assessment of market conditions, and identification of opportunities and constraints with respect to repositioning and redeveloping the Plaza.  All stakeholders were interviewed, including tenants, City Council members and City staff.  As a result, four potential strategies were developed for the Plaza, and presented them to the City Council for approval.

Christine Firstenberg represented a national outlet mall developer who was interested in the County Fairgrounds. Firstenberg interfaced with the City and County and was successful in having an ENA executed between the mall developer and the City and County.  The ENA stayed in place for 4 years while the developer tried to gain approvals. Ultimately, the developer failed to gain support.

Christine Firstenberg was hired by the Redevelopment Agency of El Cerrito to locate a tenant (and then a developer) for land they wanted to see developed. A void analysis was done on the trade area to determine which tenants were not there and outreach was done to determine their interest in the area.  Once there was tenant interest, Ms. Firstenberg brought in a developer who was able to get financing and develop the entire project with the City.

Christine Firstenberg was hired by the City of Concord to work for their choice of RFP respondent, Oliver McMillan, who was to develop a City owned parcel for a new cinema anchored development in Concord.  Project was designed, and 85% pre-leased, and ran into political problems with a competitive property owner.

Scroll over the icons for a brief examples of client projects.

City of Mountain View, CA

Downtown Mountain View Grocery Study



City of Oakland, CA

Citywide Retail Recruitment Strategy and Implementation Plan

City of Fremont, CA

Peer reviewed several mixed use projects submitted to the City of Fremont for permits ad construction.

City of Rewood City, CA

Review Existing Zoning Policies, and Recommend new City zoning Policies for Retail in the Downtown Core

City of Morgan Hill, CA

Commercial Analysis of City’s draft Block-Level Master Plan ordinance

City of Hayward, CA

Study of Feasibility of the Retail Portion of a major Proposed Development Downtown

City of Santa Clara, CA

Review of Proposed Retail along El Camino Real

City of San jose, CA

San Jose Redevelopment Agency Retail Advisory Services

City of Brentwood, CA

Downtown Retail Revitalization Plan

City of El Cerrito, CA

Economic Development Action Plan

County of Alameda, CA

Economic Development Strategic Plan: Retail Analysis

City of Dublin, CA


*RRER Consulting was formerly Metrovation Consulting

**RRER was part of JLL at the time.