Stores have opened and will continue to open through the fall at The Plaza at Puente Hills, a $60-million, 70-acre regional promotional shopping center in City of Industry.
With 15 buildings, totaling more than 500,000 square feet, being built at one time under one ownership, the retail complex on the north side of the Pomona (60) Freeway at Fullerton Road is the largest of its type and scope in the western part of the nation, according to Gerald Vance Dicker, a principal of the Fullerton-based development firm Dicker-Warmington Properties.
The firm is undertaking the project in cooperation with the City of Industry Redevelopment Agency, which sold Dicker-Warmington Properties about 40 acres of the site. The city also allocated $4 million for infrastructure work, "without which the development would not have been possible," according to project manager Lori Squires.
Widening Gale Avenue to four lanes, bringing utilities to the site, installing a storm drain and completing Stoner Avenue under the Pomona Freeway to become a major access road to the site--a project that is under way--are among city support activities that she cited.
Promotional shopping centers feature tenants who make extensive use of preprinted newspaper inserts, radio and television and direct mail to promote their merchandise, Dicker said. Large promotional centers choose sites near regional malls--in this case the Puente Hills Mall at Azusa Road on the south side of the Pomona Freeway--so they can capture spinoff traffic generated by the mall, he added.
"The Plaza at Puente Hills will help Puente Hills Mall in generating more business since the amenities feed on each other," Dicker said.
In addition to 10 restaurants and a 10-screen AMC cinema complex, the project will be anchored by a 100,000-square-foot Home Depot building-materials center and a 106,000-square-foot Price Savers Store that just opened, the second in California, according to Ernest Brambila of the San Gabriel office of Coldwell Banker Commercial Real Estate Services, the leasing agent.
There will also be 60,000 square feet of furniture stores; a 30,000-square-foot Federated Group electronics store; a 45,000-square-foot Toys R Us store and a 20,000-square-foot Miller's Outpost clothing store, Brambila said.
Brambila estimated that more than $2 million in sales taxes will be generated for City of Industry by businesses in the new center, along with more than 2,000 new jobs.
95% of Space Leased
Adding that more than 95% of the available space has been leased, Brambila said that Toys R Us is expected to open about Aug. 1, with the Home Depot, Miller's Outpost and the Federated stores expected to open in early September.
The architect is the Nadel Partnership Inc., Santa Monica, and construction financing was provided by Wells Fargo Realty Advisors, Dicker said.
Other members of the team include engineering consultants Denluck-Switzer of Altadena and the law firm of Tyre & Campus, whose staff drew the reciprocal easement agreement, project lease documents and served as liaison with the city and about 20 lawyers representing neighboring businesses, he said.
The Plaza at Puente Hills is the largest project undertaken so far by Dicker in his 20-year retailing development career. Alone or in partnership with Warmington, he owns, manages and operates more than 30 shopping centers in California, Texas, Arizona and Nevada.