LAKE ELSINORE, CA-Diamond Development of Solana Beach plans a new, $70-million retail center of nearly 460,000 sf, that will include Costco, Lowe’s, Petsmart and Staples, according to Smith Consulting Architects of San Diego. The new development, called Lake Elsinore Marketplace, will occupy a a 46.7-acre site at the northeast corner of Central Avenue and Dexter Street. Smith, which is designing the center, says construction is scheduled to begin in the fall of 2005, with completion is slated for the fall of 2006.The project, which has been by the Lake Elsinore City Council and the city’s planning department, will comprise 15 one-story buildings and will be anchored by major retailers that will include a 175,000-sf Costco Wholesale Warehouse; a 164,000-sf Lowe’s Home Improvement Center; a 20,000-sf Petsmart; and a 20,000-sf Staples Office Supplies. The center also will include various restaurants, banks, in-line retail shops, and fast-food drive-throughs along Central Avenue; as well as parking, pedestrian pathways, and outdoor dining areas.Smith says the design goal of Lake Elsinore Marketplace is to showcase the center’s major retail tenants, while also maintaining a unified and contemporary design theme. Bill Sharon, director of retail design at Smith Consulting Architects, is overseeing the project, with Norman Barrett as project architect. The general contractor is the Bergman Cos.The Lake Elsinore project is among the latest in a growing number of new retail developments in the Inland Empire, where a growing population has boosted demand for all classes of shopping venues in the past several years. “Retailers are coming to the region in record numbers,” says a recent report by brokerage firm Marcus & Millichap, which estimates that 4.3 million sf of new retail space is expected to be completed this year alone in the Inland Empire, with more to follow in future years. The new shopping centers typically are opening fully pre-leased or nearly full, the report notes.

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