NAPERVILLE, ILL. – With brisk preleasing activity underway, NewQuest Asia-Pacific Retail is planning to start construction in February on a major redevelopment of the 140,892-sf former Dominick’s-anchored shopping center in north Naperville, Ill.
The Houston-based developer acquired the 35%-leased center eight months ago in an off-market transaction. NewQuest Asia-Pacific Retail, which manages a $2.53 billion portfolio, specializes in development opportunities in markets with high Asian populations, as is the case in Naperville and six cities in Arizona, Georgia and its home state of Texas.
“We are committed to transforming this center into a vibrant culinary destination with an Asian focus,” says Heather Nguyen, development partner of NewQuest Asia-Pacific Retail. “The objective is to infuse new vitality into this center through the reinvention and repurposing of the space.”
The 27-year-old shopping center at 1523 N. Aurora Rd. will be rebranded and completely renovated, with the redesign incorporating green spaces into the 19.8-acre tract. The grand opening is planned for summer 2025.
“The city has been extremely supportive of our first Asian development in Illinois,” Nguyen says. “We hope the community will embrace our endeavors as well.”
Nguyen’s team has curated an extensive tenant roster of leading and innovative Asian retailers and restaurateurs. To date, roughly 62,000 sf of leases are in various stages of negotiations, including a commitment from a specialty grocer. Teso Life, a Japanese fashion casual store, has snapped up 18,016 sf in NewQuest’s Naperville project.
“Our mission involves attracting top-tier Asian concepts to establish a compelling allure, offering an authentic Asian culinary experience,” Nguyen says. “It’s all about finding the right demographics in an area with a regional draw. Being close to the Metra is an added bonus.”
Naperville has landed in first place as the best city to live in, according to Niche’s 2023 ranking.
Accompanying that accolade is the fact that nearly 20% of Naperville’s population is Asian, a combination that NewQuest Asia-Pacific Retail found irresistible from an investment perspective.
The redevelopment project is situated at a signalized intersection of a high-growth area with nearly 5,800 homes under construction or on the drawing boards. The median housing price is $485,000. The population of the five-mile trade area is 217,000, with average annual income hovering $150,000.
“Naperville is such a beautiful town with strong growth and young families,” Nguyen says. “Our redevelopment, which will offer experiential retail and dining, will be a great asset to this growing city and close-knit community.”