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ESCONDIDO, CA-Less than four months after Escondido residents and city officials celebrated the grand opening of the Gateway Center mixed-use development here, a private investment group has snapped up the project’s 87,000-sf retail component. Buyers Escondido Gateway 03 LP, Escondido Greenbush 03 LLC, and Point at Redondo 2000 LLC have shelled out $20.1 million to seller Clark-Gateway LLC.

Located at the northwest corner of Tulip Street and West Valley Parkway, Gateway Center was touted as the largest commercial development to be built in downtown Escondido in the past two decades when it opened in March of this year. It encompasses a total of 115,400-sf, which is split between the one-story retail complex and a two-story, 28,400-sf office facility. At the time of sale, Gateway Center was 97% leased. Prior to the close of escrow, more than $14 million worth of retail leases had been signed at the complex. The shopping center’s major tenants currently include Barnes & Noble, Michaels, Mattress Discounters, North County Camera, Baja Fresh and Panda Express.

Steve Warfield and Tony Villasenor of BRE Commercial/NAI’s UTC office acted on behalf of the seller, Clark-Gateway LLC, which will retain ownership of the complex’s office facility. The buyers were represented by Bruce Schiff and Phil Lyons of BRE Commercial/NAI’s North County office. The North County duo will also be responsible for the project’s leasing program, which was previously handled by Warfield and Villasenor.

Gateway Center cost approximately $20 million to build with Marshall Investments Corp. providing nearly $15.4 million in financing. Developer C.W. Clark Inc., along with its equity partner Torreon Capital of Austin, TX, kicked in $4.4 million.

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