By Emily Heppen, Senior Leasing Representative
In April 2019, Saraga International Grocery (Saraga) opened its newest location at Northern Lights Shopping Center in Columbus, Ohio. Its opening was highly anticipated with its grand opening covered by local newspapers and news stations.
Saraga has a great reputation in the community as the destination for international food products reaching a diverse customer base and international food lovers. Strategically opening a new location at Northern Lights met the needs of the community and neighborhood shoppers, and was also a crucial development in the neighborhood to support growing, multicultural communities in Columbus.
According to the Census Bureau’s report that was published in 2019, the city of Columbus is now the 14th largest city in the United States, with 892,000 people living there. With the burgeoning population growth, it’s one of the fastest-growing cities in the United States, led by economic drivers in healthcare, retail, banking, insurance, higher education, and government entities.
To DLC, having Saraga at Northern Lights meant more than filling a vacancy at our retail center. It was about finding the right grocer for the community and continuing to tactfully merchandise the center. With Northern Lights’ demographics and Saraga’s wide customer base, Saraga was more than perfect and Bon Appétit Magazine couldn’t have said it better. In its story on Saraga, the columnist, Zahir Janmohamed writes, “For immigrants, grocery stores like Saraga are not so much shopping destinations as they are spaces to help new residents build community.”
Since the opening of Saraga, the trade area of shoppers at Northern Lights has expanded significantly, as shown in the Placer.AI heat maps below. A higher volume of shoppers is traveling from a further distance to visit Northern Lights. Since Saraga’s opening, we have signed a 16,000 SF gym user, Blink Fitness, at the center, continuing to make Northern Lights the top neighborhood shopping center destination. Having Blink Fitness as part of our tenant mix means that people have an option to shop for groceries and run errands after or before their workout without driving to another destination. Now that’s what we call #DLCSuccess.
Our DLC approach to our retail centers is to curate a desired lifestyle tenancy for the community. Scouting out the perfect tenant mix to provide a place to meet, socialize and satisfy the everyday needs is what we are purposed to do and that’s what we’ve done at Northern Lights.
[Feature Image Source: Bon Appétit Magazine]