10 km, 13.1, 26.2. To some individuals, those are simply numbers. To runners, those are milestones to strive for throughout their careers. But to retailers like The Brass Tap at the Mesa Riverview shopping center in Arizona, those numbers translated to some of the biggest profits of the year.

On Saturday, March 1, thousands of athletes lined up to kick off the 2014 BMO Harris Bank Phoenix Marathon, winding their way through the Phoenix metropolitan area to cross the coveted finish line at Kimco’s Mesa Riverview shopping center.

Check out this video we captured following the marathon to hear from runners and tenants about their experience, and immerse yourself in the vibrant community that is Mesa Riverview.

Kimco originally built the Arizona-based center in 2006, but by 2011, we realized we needed to reimagine the 1.3-million-square-foot center to keep pace with a growing population, and offer new amenities to the surrounding area.

Shopping is a social experience, so we wanted to create a special destination where families and neighbors could come together and enjoy themselves.

After completing a recent $5 million redevelopment project, Mesa Riverview’s revitalized Main-Street area now features a pedestrian-friendly promenade lined with shops, park-like green space, benches, and attractive desert landscaping. We also recommitted some 40,000 square feet of retail space to make way for the popular new promenade that makes Mesa Riverview an even more inviting destination for shoppers and community members.

Our vision for the center came to life last month as athletes and spectators gathered to enjoy what marathon participants have deemed “the best finish line experience.” Runners, families, and friends celebrated the marathoners’ accomplishments as they relaxed in the spacious promenade, and enjoyed entertainment, refreshments and giveaways.

But hosting community events like Mesa Riverview’s finisher’s village aren’t just fun and games. As we say, they also help strategically boost our tenants’ bottom lines, turning one-time visitors into repeat customers. One runner said that having the finish line at the center encouraged him to look around and appreciate the breadth of stores and amenities Mesa Riverview offers while another runner added that the race helped raise awareness of the center.

From the tenants’ perspective, Kim Robilotto, Marketing Director at Chick-fil-A, believes that the event brought tremendous exposure to the retailers, and added great value for the company. Jason Rowe, the Beer Boss at The Brass Tap, echoed that sentiment, saying, “The day of the Phoenix Marathon was, hands down, some of the best numbers we’ve done so far.”

While the marathon brought a welcome boost of visitors last month, the redevelopment at Mesa Riverview has transformed the center into a flourishing year-round destination for the surrounding community. The 250-acre site is not only home to Kimco’s power and lifestyle center -- featuring a wide range of shopping, dining, and entertainment choices -- but also includes a two-story Class A office building, an auto mall with three dealerships, and a Hyatt hotel, all with convenient access from the nearby Route 202 freeway.

The area also is receiving a boost from the Chicago Cubs’ new spring training complex at Riverview Park located across the street, which has become a big draw for families in the area. The renovated park also includes playgrounds, a "spray ground" with multiple water features, and even an urban fishing lake.

We spoke with Bill Jabjiniak, Economic Development Director for the City of Mesa, who said, “The new promenade at Mesa Riverview provides a real sense of place in an area that is undergoing a definite renaissance. With the opening of the Cubs’ new spring training complex at Riverview Park, the area will become an even more important hub of community life here in Mesa.”

It’s shaping up to be quite an active year in Mesa, and we look forward to providing a best-in-class shopping center to serve as a community hub for years to come.