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TEMECULA, CA-The local retail market is gaining steam as evidenced by significant prelease activity taking place at the Rancho Temecula Town Center. So far, the center has picked up 104,658 sf in deals counting $32.3 million.The 175,000-sf retail center will break ground within the next two weeks, but already counts a roster of five tenants. Located at the northeast corner of Winchester Road and Nicholas Road, the center is scheduled for an August 2006 completion date.The property sits on 20 acres across the street from the local high school, in a dramatically changed area of town, according to a broker marketing the project. “When we started the early stages of the project six years ago, this site was on the edge of town, now it’s considered an infill area,” Bill Barnett of Burnham Real Estate Services tells Globest.com.During that timeframe, the city’s population has experienced a population explosion. Barnett says the population has grown from 35,000 to 90,000 since the idea of the project began.Barnett, along with Doug Hogan, also of Burnham, represented the project’s developer, Beverly Hills-based Pacific Development Partners, on all five of the lease transactions. In the largest deal, LA Fitness International LLC signed a 15-year $12.9 million lease for 45,000 sf. John Kalamaras of Real Source Partners represented LA Fitness.In the second deal, Rite Aid Drug Store agreed to a 20-year, $7.3 million lease for 16,708 sf. Burnham’s Barnett and Hogan represented both parties in the deal. Wild Oats Market Inc, dba Henry’s Marketplace, signed a 15-year, $7.1 million lease for 26,950 sf. Mike Jensen of ADJG Inc. represented the tenant.Beverages and More Inc. signed a 10-year $2.6 million lease for 10,000 sf with Jeff Moore of CB Richard Ellis representing the tenant and Navy Federal Credit Union signed a 10-year deal for $2.2 million. Navy Federal will take 6,000 sf. Barnett and Hogan represented both parties in the deal.Barnett tells Globest.com that once the project breaks ground the remaining space will fill up. “We’re already in negotiations with a fast food hamburger chain and a large sit-down restaurant who will take 9,000 sf,” Barnett says.He believes the remaining tenants will come from a mix of food and services. “Instead of clustering the restaurants, we intend to spread them out to avoid congestion,” Barnett says.

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