REAL ESTATE

Sunflower Farmers Market to open stores in California

BY CSA STAFF

New York City — Sunflower Farmers Market, which operates value-priced organic and natural food grocery stores, is opening its first store in California.

Sunflower currently operates 32 stores in six Southwestern states. The chain, which focuses on offering fresh local foods at affordable prices, was founded in 2002 by Mike Gilliland, who helped start the Wild Oats chain that was later bought by Whole Foods Market.

The first California site, in Roseville outside of Sacramento, will open in April. The company also plans to add a site in San Jose.

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REAL ESTATE

George Smith Partners completes construction financing on retail center development

BY CSA STAFF

Los Angeles — Commercial real estate investment banking firm George Smith Partners, has completed a $17.2 million, two-phase, construction loan transaction in Oxnard, Calif., for Upside Investments.

“The construction loan will be used to pay off a land loan, demolish existing buildings, build and renovate retail buildings and complete horizontal construction for a pad to be occupied by Lowe’s Store,” according to Steve Bram, principal and managing director of George Smith Partners. Bram was assisted in the financing by David Pascale, senior VP.

Upside Investments purchased this mostly vacant and functionally obsolete property in 2007. Since then, it has been getting entitlements and negotiating leases, lease extensions and tenant relocations. The 16-acre Carriage Square retail center will now be partially demolished and redeveloped to contain 170,000 square feet of retail space.

The cornerstone of the newly renovated center will be the 138,000-sq.-ft. Lowes Home Improvement store, which will occupy subject to a 20-year ground lease. The remaining tenants are a mix of national chain restaurants and local tenants, including IHOP, 7-11, KFC and Kragen, which will be located on outparcels around Lowes.

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REAL ESTATE

Sudberry breaks ground on mixed-use development in Mission Valley, Ca.

BY CSA STAFF

San Diego — Sudberry Properties has broken ground on the first phase of Civita, the 230-acre mixed-use development that will turn a 70 year-old quarry in Mission Valley, Ca., into a walkable community with attainable housing options, village shops, businesses, access to San Diego’s Light Rail System and abundant acres of park space all within a 15 minute walk of one another.

The Civita community is planned in four phases over a 12 to 15 year time frame with each phase taking approximately three to four years to complete. The first phase includes apartments and townhomes. Additionally, there will be almost 1 million sq. ft. of office and retail space for shops and restaurants in subsequent phases, providing the opportunity to live, work and play in Civita.

More than one-third of Civita will be devoted to open space and public areas that will include public parks, landscaped public parkways, private open space and a Civic Center with a plaza, amphitheater for public events and Heritage Museum.

The final master plan was developed by Elkus Manfredi Architects, of Boston.

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