Some USC students and Costa Mesa-based developer Westar Associates have signed their first tenant for a half-acre commercial project that the joint-venture team is planning in Desert Hot Springs.
Southland Corp. has agreed to lease 3,055 square-feet of space in the project to operate a 7-Eleven convenience store, according to Ken Loesch, a USC student and the project's managing general partner.
The development project, nicknamed "the Real Deal," began as an extracurricular activity designed to provide students with hands-on experience in real estate development and management. The students jointly invested $10,000 of their own money and formed the Trojan MRED Development Co. to be Westar's partner in the venture.
Loesch said the student-Westar team expects to break ground on the project in August. Completion is expected by the end of the year.