In 2022, Savoy Properties purchased Ronnie’s Plaza, one of the most iconic retail centers in St. Louis with over 1.1 million people attending Ronnie’s Cinema each year. The theater was built as a drive-in theater in the 1940’s by Wehrenberg, and this was the first time the retail center had come onto the market in over 50 years. At the height of the pandemic, movie theaters had one of the grimmest outlooks, and as a result, hundreds of movie theaters went up for sale. The management team at Savoy Properties saw a unique opportunity to buy an iconic property that would eventually have its significant foot traffic restored. They also saw an opportunity to see the property as a commercial real estate development instead of just a theater that happened to have some retail around it, and they made a plan to develop the empty parcels on the land to maximize the property's value.
Together with TRI Architects and Summit Sign & Graphics, Savoy replaced tenant signage and made improvements to the interior and exterior of the building including the facade, roof, and pylon. These were the first steps in restoring the confidence of tenants. This 92,000 square-foot center over 16.25 acres now has a long-term plan, including a renovation plan, marketing and leasing strategy, and a plan for ongoing capital improvements. Next up will be for the two other parcels of land on the center’s property to be developed, which will bring the square footage up by 30%, improve foot traffic to the center, and substantially increase the value of the property.
One of the project's first successes was our acquisition keeping the property in the hands of a local developer with a stake in the community rather than an out-of-town buyer like so many other similar properties. After just a year, Savoy is on pace to increase occupancy from 60% to 98% and tenant retention has doubled year to date. Over the next decade, Savoy plans on adding two additional buildings which will provide additional foot traffic to the existing tenants and increase the value of the property. Savoy is on pace to double the value of this property by 2032.
When we needed a new headquarters and warehouse, the team at Savoy leveraged their business, real estate and government contacts along with their knowledge and expertise to negotiate a deal on the right property.
They expertly navigated complex legal arrangements and secured the needed municipal clearances to make the deal happen.
Their efficiency and effectiveness helped us maintain our strong business, care for our team and deliver for our customers during a challenging and critical time.