Case Study: Retail Center Leasing & Property Management

Front of shopping center

Grocery Anchored Neighborhood Center Quick Rebound from 40% Occupancy Rate

Key Information

Client:The Shops at Bethlehem
Location: Bethlehem, PA


The Shops at Bethlehem, formerly known as Easton Commons, changed ownership in 2020. At the time of acquisition, the neighborhood retail center spanning 166,937 SF faced a significant challenge, not only did the center need a makeover, but it also needed additional tenants. Sitting at 40% occupied there were numerous leases due for renewal and long-term tenant Family Dollar opted not to renew, leaving a 6,750 square foot space unoccupied. Additionally, Petco and GIANT sought to renegotiate lease terms while returning underutilized excess space. Ownership chose to engage NAI Summit for property management and brokerage services, with the goal of breathing new life into The Shops at Bethlehem.


Capitalizing on their extensive expertise, NAI Summit’s brokerage and property management divisions worked together to transform The Shops at Bethlehem. Devising a plan to overhaul and reposition the center was necessary in order to attract new tenants as well as retain current, long-term tenants. Utilizing their intimate knowledge of the center, the property manager guided new ownership through the project management process, encouraging a comprehensive remodeling and rebranding effort. Ownership invested in repaving the parking lots, installing car charging stations, and updating the façade.

While the property manager was overseeing the center remodel, the listing agent(s) proactively guided lease negotiations, accommodating current tenant’s needs by adjusting square footage and securing renewal commitments. Responsiveness and adaptability to market dynamics played a pivotal role in aligning lease terms with the tenants’ requirements and ownership objectives.

NAI Summit’s marketing tactics strategically showcased the revitalized appearance and ownership’s new branding, appealing to local retailers, franchisees, and service providers, aiming to fill the vacant suites.


Within a year, the NAI Summit brokerage team achieved an outstanding 98% occupancy rate, leaving a single 1,550 SF inline suite available. Additionally, they successfully secured renewals from multiple anchor tenants including Petco and GIANT. The introduction of new tenants committing to 5- and 10-year leases added diversity and appeal to the shopping center. Notable additions included a locally owned home furnishing store, a fast-casual restaurant franchisee, and a reputable local childcare provider.

Currently, NAI Summit is actively pursuing national tenants for pad sites, aiming to complement existing retailers and elevate the center’s offerings.