LA QUINTA, CA-The Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market grocery stores operated by Britain’s Tesco will anchor two of three new shopping centers planned here and in Cathedral City, including a LEED-certified project under development here by Regency Centers. The Regency center here is Jefferson Square, a 102,000-sf project that is planned for a site at Jefferson Street and Fred Waring Drive, which the Florida-based shopping center REIT is building in partnership with Maranita Development.

Regency and Maranita expect to break ground on the Jefferson Square project in the spring of 2008 and to open the center in the spring of 2009. According to Paul Loubet, Regency Centers vice president of investments, Jefferson Square will feature restaurant and service businesses, including a CVS pharmacy, in addition to the 14,000-sf Fresh & Easy.

Leasing for Jefferson Square is being handled by Travis Farrell at Regency, along with Maggie Montez and Dani Alexander of CB Richard Ellis. Loubet notes that the Fresh & Easy at Jefferson Square is one of 200 of the markets that Tesco plans to open by the end of 2008, including 50 in Southern California, Phoenix, and Las Vegas, by late February.

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