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HACIENDA HEIGHTS, CA-Pacific Castle of Irvine has acquired the 122,420-sf Hacienda Center near Puente Hills Mall and plans to enliven what it calls a “sleepy retail venue” by spending $1 million on improvements. The purchase brings the total of Pacific Castle acquisitions to $100 million in less than 12 months, primarily with funds raised from Chinese-American investors.Pacific Castle, which is concentrating on acquiring retail centers throughout Southern California and Nevada, bought the property from Bixby Land Co. The center is adjacent to the Puente Hills Mall at the cross streets of Azusa and Colima, near Interstate 60. The buyers cite what they call a “supreme location, a diverse tenant mix and tremendous investment potential.” Some of the major tenants include 99 Ranch Market, Bank of America, California Bank & Trust and El Torito. The company plans to invest approximately $1 million in property upgrades and rehabilitation.Hacienda Center in its current state is “a sleepy retail venue,” says Wayne Cheng, founder and president of Pacific Castle. “Our plan is to energize the center so it will become the community’s central source for Chinese shopping and entertainment.” Considering the nature of the market and the 50% Chinese-American population in this area, Cheng says, Pacific Castle is confident it can meet its goals for the property in three to five years. Pacific Castle raised $10 million from Chinese-American private parties to form two tenant-in-commons to purchase Hacienda Center. China Trust Bank and City Bank of Hawaii are jointly providing a loan for the other 75% of funds. While Cushman & Wakefield officially listed the property on behalf of Bixby Land Co., Pacific Castle worked directly with the seller to make the deal happen. David Lee of Faris Lee Investments, who also acted as an adviser on the sale, says the property offers “tremendous upside.”Earlier this year, Pacific Castle purchased the 163,000-sf Long Beach Market Place for $44 million and in November 2003 it bought Sierra Vista Plaza in Murrieta for $13.1 million. The acquisitions are part of the company’s plan to focus on class A retail assets in prime locations, says Rod Astarabadi, EVP of Pacific Castle, which was founded by Cheng in 1993.

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