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Shopping Village in Camarillo Proposed

April 27, 2002|GREGORY W. GRIGGS | TIMES STAFF WRITER

After buying the last major parcel of undeveloped commercial land in the city, the owners of Camarillo Premium Outlets plan to build a hotel, restaurants and an open-air shopping village near the successful discount center.

Chelsea Property Group, the New Jersey-based developer of the outlet center south of the Ventura Freeway at Las Posas Road, purchased the 45-acre vacant parcel in November from Prime Retail of Baltimore for an undisclosed sum.

"The ball is really in Chelsea's court now to submit some plans for the city to review," Assistant City Manager Larry Davis said. "We're anxious to work with them as they come up with ideas."

Chelsea is in negotiations with city officials to refine an existing development plan for the property. "This will be a companion center that will obviously be good for the shopper," said Michele Rothstein, Chelsea's vice president of marketing. "And if you're a shopper like me, more is a good thing."

Camarillo Promenade would be 220,000 to 300,000 square feet and designed in the style of a Spanish or Mediterranean village that would devote about a third of its space to landscaping and several plaza areas for shoppers to stroll and gather. City officials compared the proposed "lifestyle center" to the Promenade at Westlake in Thousand Oaks.

The company operates 57 shopping centers in 28 states and Japan, but Rothstein said this project would be a first for Chelsea. Unlike large discount centers, such as its Desert Hills outlet in Cabazon near Palm Springs, this lifestyle center would feature national chain specialty stores selling apparel, books, music and home furnishings.

Although no prospective tenants have been announced, Jim Jevens, Camarillo's economic development consultant, said the city compiled a wish list of the sort of tenants it thinks would complement the city's current retail mix. The city wants the village to have a high-end family-style restaurant, specialty food outlets, book, music and clothes stores and other specialty retailers.

Camarillo planning director Bob Burrow said the project is divided into three parcels. The shopping village would cover about 30 acres and include about 1,500 parking spaces.

Nearly 11 acres at the south end of the parcel, next to the Edwards Theaters, is currently zoned for industrial space and could accommodate another 908 parking spaces. Jevens suggests that if this parcel's zoning were changed to commercial, a larger retailer such as a Best Buy or Fry's Electronics could be considered.

Burrow said about four acres closest to the freeway exit would be the site of the proposed hotel.

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