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COSTA MESA-A 60,000-sf specialty retail center, formerly known as Hillgren Square, is being rehabilitated by Irvine-based Wohl Investment Co. The renovations are scheduled to begin next week, Wohl has announced.

Wohl plans to reposition the property into a high-end destination center, to be renamed 17th Street Promenade. Renovations include remodeling all exterior and common areas of the property. Plans call for a contemporary “Carolinas” motif marked by gabled slate roofs, a promenade set off by concrete and stacked stone columns, colorful awnings and extensive custom landscaping.

The project’s renovations are being designed by Irvine-based Architectural Team Three. Although the company will not disclose financial details of the renovation, the upgraded property will be worth $12 million, according to a company spokesperson. The project, which is being renovated by general contractor Oltmans Construction Co., is slated for an October completion.

The retail center is located along the 17th Street Corridor, which is bounded by Santa Ana Avenue and Westminster Avenue. Wohl purchased the property six months ago. It is currently 93% occupied, with tenants including party supplier Where’s The Party, Mi Casa Mexican restaurant and San Bar Aquarium pet store.

Although consumer sales have slowed in recent months, local investors remain hopeful about the county’s retail market, noting that several recent studies show that consumer confidence in the Southland is still much higher than it is in most other parts of the nation. In Orange County, approximately 2.9 million sf of retail space will come on line this year, according to a recent report published by Marcus & Millichap.

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