Our mission is to provide significantly above-average financial returns through the acquisition and redevelopment of selected properties, consistently making a positive, long-lasting impact on the communities in which we do business; all the while striving to be worthy stewards of our talents and investments for the benefit our tenants, investors and ourselves.
In 1994, Vanguard Associates, Inc. entered the world of retail re-development through the acquisition of Gateway Plaza Shopping Center in Leesburg, Florida. This project had once been the home to Ames, Pantry Pride, and a number of other tenants, but years of tenant vacancies and neglect had left the 126,000 square foot property with only one small shop retailer. Upon acquisition, Vanguard embarked on an aggressive schedule to lease and renovate the property; less than one year later, Gateway Plaza was 100% leased, with a tenant roster that included Office Depot, Beall’s Outlet, Big Lots, Aaron Rents and Family Dollar. As a result of working on this project, Vanguard began to emphasize retail re-development projects, with specific initial attention to the state of Florida.
Since 1994, Vanguard Associates and its affiliates have purchased over 50 additional retail properties located in Florida, Georgia, North and South Carolina, Tennessee, Louisiana and Alabama, as well as 2 office projects in Metropolitan Atlanta; these projects total over 3 million square feet of total space. Virtually all of these properties have followed Vanguard’s strategy of value creation through re-development and re-tenanting of fully or substantially vacant projects or buildings. The largest segment of the portfolio consists of former Wal-Mart buildings that have been purchased and back-filled with credit tenants such as Tractor Supply, Big Lots, Beall’s, Hobby Lobby and Stein Mart. Similar projects have involved the back-fill of vacated grocery, department, and drug stores. Most of our properties are located in small to mid-sized markets that are experiencing a reasonable level of growth; ascending markets are a key consideration in our acquisition criteria, which accounts for a high concentration of properties in Florida and the recent expansion into the upstate of South Carolina and key markets in North Carolina.
Vanguard Associates has become an expert in the re-development field by demonstrating the ability to identify suitable acquisition targets at prices that are well below replacement cost. In addition, we handle all aspects of the project, including leasing, construction, and management, in-house; this allows us to efficiently control costs, which we feel is a critical component in the successful re-development of our properties. Vanguard Associates continues to seek acquisition properties throughout the Southeastern U.S., with specific emphasis on Georgia, Florida, North and South Carolina.