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LONG BEACH, CA-Diversified Developers Realty Corp. of Cleveland has opened its $100 million CityPlace downtown shopping district, which combines 450,000 sf of retail stores with 340 apartments and condominiums in an eight-square-block area that formerly was occupied by the Long Beach Plaza enclosed mall.

The new shopping district, within walking distance of the Long Beach waterfront, is bounded by Third Street, Sixth Street, Pine Avenue and Elm Street. Its opening is expected to be followed this week with the topping off of the first of the five apartment buildings that Los Angeles-based PCS Development is constructing in a 221-unit project called The Premiere at CityPlace.

The new shopping development restores an original city street grid by reopening Fourth and Fifth streets, which were closed to make way for the former Long Beach Plaza. It was built with approximately $17 million from the Long Beach Community Development Department, most of it public improvements such as restoring the street grid and renovations to city-owned parking structures. City officials say they expect the new project to generate approximately $1.9 million per year in new sales tax, property tax and other revenues for Long Beach.

Among the major tenants that have already opened are Wal-Mart, Nordstrom Rack, Ross Dress For Less, Sav-on, Anna’s Linens and Ashley Stewart. Albertson’s is expected to open the first modern full-service supermarket in downtown Long Beach at CityPlace in December.

The apartment portion of the development, totaling approximately 200,000 sf, will consist of five separate buildings constructed over the ground floor retail space owned by DDR and its partners. Each of the five buildings will be three stories in height and will be attached to above-ground parking structures owned and operated by the city.

The condominium portion will include 120 lofts developed by Urban Pacific Builders of Long Beach and expected to sell for $250,000-$450,000. Both the apartments and the condominiums are expected to open for occupancy next year.

CityPlace is owned by Coventry Long Beach Plaza LLC, a partnership between DDR, Prudential Real Estate Investors and Coventry Real Estate Partners. In addition to CityPlace, DDR is developing the Pike at Rainbow Harbor on the Downtown Long Beach waterfront. Construction began in May on the $130 million development, which will include approximately 370,000 sf of waterfront restaurants and entertainment venues, including a state-of-the-art Crown Theater and a 40,000-sf GameWorks.

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