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RANCHO SANTA MARGARITA, CA-Sole ownership of the 190,000-sf Plaza El Paseo shopping center now lies with K&G Equities in a $20-million buyout of joint venture partner, Florida-based Regency Centers. The shopping center is expected to be fully open by spring 2003.

The property, located at 22235 El Paseo, was 85% pre-leased at the time of the Regency transaction. Key tenants at the property include Bed, Bath & Beyond, Opah and Wood Ranch BBQ & Grill. A 93,000-sf Kohl’s is under construction on a 5.5-acre anchor tract.

Plaza El Paseo, designed by Bickel Underwood, is being built by general contractor Moorefield Construction. The majority of the center’s tenants are expected to open their doors by spring 2002, with Kohl’s planning to open a year later, according to Tom McDonough, senior vice president of investments for Regency’s Southern California region.

Healthy leasing activity at the Plaza El Paseo property, along with the procurement of Kohl’s as an anchor tenant led to Regency’s decision to sell its ownership interest. “We felt we had created value at the property, bringing it from an ‘unentitled’ piece of land to the stage where it is pretty well leased up and the Kohl’s deal is solidified,” McDonough says. “We felt it was a good time for us to exit, recycle our capital and look for the next development deal,” he adds.

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