Client story

Retail development frontrunner increases base rents by $10 per square foot

Poag Development Group’s strategic partnership with JLL is positioning the firm for a retail evolution




10 properties


United States


120 deals executed, 15% of square feet leased, $10 increase in base rents per square foot

In the ever-evolving landscape of retail, lifestyle centers have garnered attention as the modern successors of traditional malls. Poag Development Group has remained at the forefront of this movement since successfully pioneering the trend decades ago. 

To cement its position as a top retail developer, Poag recognized the powerful opportunity to evolve its offering and deepen its appeal to institutional investors. Poag sought to acquire standout properties, elevate the consumer experience, raise occupancy rates and rents and ensure consistent processes across its eight-property portfolio.

Poag looked to JLL for advice on new types of acquisition targets like enclosed malls, performing pre-leasing of new developments, and management and leasing of its properties. Poag also tapped JLL to advise on sustainability programs and short-term leasing, while also curating event calendars and creating dynamic social media campaigns that were all integrated into a full-service offering–an offering that allowed Poag to expand its portfolio by 25%, diversify its properties and operate with new efficiency.

JLL’s dedicated experts hit the ground running. In just the first 12 months of the Poag-JLL relationship, Poag saw average portfolio base rents on new deals grow more than $10 per square foot. The team executed 120 leases totaling 555,000 square feet across Poag’s portfolio, 48 of which are new tenants. JLL also helped Poag assess two additional acquisitions that were successfully completed during this time, bringing the total portfolio size to 10.

One property in particular — LaCenterra at Cinco Ranch in Katy, TX — has emerged as a blueprint for success. This 412,900-square-foot lifestyle center, located about 30 minutes from downtown Houston, needed a renewed focus to meet the experience-focused needs of today’s consumers.

The harmony of brand names and authentic local experience

Poag Development Group understands that, in a retail setting, consumers now place experience, authenticity and local community connection on equal footing with established national brand names. To successfully bring both to LaCenterra, Poag turned to JLL to help bring its vision to life.

Poag sought to capitalize on JLL’s market depth, which has provided access to local retailers—an important way to demonstrate that Poag property experiences always feel personal.

In just 12 months, new LaCenterra leases totaled 20,367 square feet, lifting occupancy by 2%. Nationally recognized names like Warby Parker, IKEA and lululemon now complement local retailers with strong community ties. That includes Two Tarts’ Toppers, a unique business owned by a local Katy High School graduate, where shoppers can find hats adorned with artifacts transformed into works of art.

After a busy day of shopping, the flavors of local culinary favorites like Postino and PUCCI Café. delight shoppers in a dog-friendly setting.

Events that bring them in and make them stay

Event programming and social media promotion has been an important way to excite, inform and engage the community year-round. Since Poag initiated its relationship with JLL, social engagement is up 15.2% on Facebook and 34% on Instagram.

Visitors are drawn to LaCenterra’s experiential social spaces, street performers and live music from local bands. The property hosts more than 250 events annually, including four signature events that brought in over $100,000 in ancillary income in the most recent year.

The LaCenterra Farmers Market attracts local vendors to sell a variety of homemade goods and fresh produce in Heritage Square, the heart of the property. The annual Car Culture Show with more than 200 luxury cars attracts nearly 3,000 attendees, while fitness and yoga classes lend a more intimate setting to health enthusiasts. The largest event—an annual holiday tree lighting—draws more 10,000 people to the property.

Events have played an important role in increasing site visits at LaCenterra by nearly 5% in 2023.

Smooth and sustainable operations

As property managers, JLL helped Poag continue to elevate LaCenterra hospitality-minded staffing. The result is a high level of service that keeps shoppers coming back. The property’s Google rating is an impressive 4.6.

Sustainability is an important focus for the management team at LaCenterra, and JLL’s sustainability experts have worked closely with Poag to put an effective and actionable plan in place. Notably, a new long-term lease with Tesla has brought 18 Tesla and universal EV charging stations to the property.

LaCenterra has achieved the Institute of Real Estate Management (IREM) designation as a Certified Sustainable Property as a direct result of the team’s environmentally focused approach.

“It's not an accident that all of a sudden our growth has started accelerating. Being able to trust the JLL team to handle the day-to-day has allowed us to focus on the growth of our business to broaden our lead as the developer of choice of experiential retail in the country.”

Josh Poag, CEO, Poag Development Group
Trusted partnership fuels even bolder business outcomes

The partnership between JLL and Poag Development Group is built on trust and complementary expertise. With the entire Poag portfolio under JLL’s expert care and the success of LaCenterra serving as a blueprint, Poag leaders are freed up to focus on development and business strategy. Poag already leads the way for lifestyle retail, and now is better positioned to take advantage of significant growth opportunities and more diversified acquisitions in the future.