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SAN DIMAS, CA-Marketplace Properties of Tustin expects to start demolition before the month ends on Phase II of San Dimas Town Center, a 107,502-sf retail redevelopment along Bonita Avenue in Downtown San Dimas.

Michael Rue, president of Marketplace Properties, says his firm expects to begin construction in May on the nine-acre redevelopment site between Walnut and San Dimas avenues. Marketplace Properties’ first phase, a 56,379-sf Albertsons/Sav-On store, opened last month.

The first phase of the San Dimas development was seven years in the making. It’s now being joined 51,123 sf of retail space, part of which will be a new 13,000-sf drive-through CVS pharmacy. Rue says Marketplace Properties will retrofit some existing buildings for the up-and-coming project, such as a former supermarket, while others such as an old Taco Bell and a Thrifty Drug Store will be razed and rebuilt from ground up. The grand opening for Phase II is slated for November.

Upon completion, San Dimas Town Center will feature two city parks, which Rue describes as extremely unusual. Marketplace Properties convinced Boise, ID-based Albertsons to work with the city to not only construct a historic downtown-style building with a complete brick exterior, but also to develop a city park in Phase I, complete with a large fountain adjacent to the store. City manager Blaine Michaelis says the larger of the two is Settlers Court Park, situated at the northeast corner of Bonita and Walnut. The smaller park will be positioned on the corner of Bonita and San Dimas Avenue in the Phase II project area.

The San Dimas Town Center site, which is located directly across the street from city hall, represents an assemblage of seven parcels, each separately owned. In an effort to revitalize the downtown village area, the city began acquiring various parcels forredevelopment more than eight years ago. Phase II sits on the western portion, which formerly housed a Safeway, the Thrifty Drug Store and some small shops as part of a small shopping center built in 1962.

Rue says he’s never heard of a shopping center project being developed with two city parks, but he says the result is more visibility for the tenants and better ambiance for customers. Tenant interest in the upscale project has been strong, according to Rue, who says Albertsons/Sav-On is reporting sales that exceed company expectations.

Rue notes the Albertsons is one of a number of new supermarkets that have opened in Southern California downtowns in recent years and have done well, including Vons Pavilions store in downtown Monrovia and Ralphs in downtown San Diego. He says the San Dimas center benefits from strong demographics, such as the approximately 46,000 residents with an average household income of nearly $87,000 in the trade area.

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