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SAN BERNARDINO, CA-Hopkins Real Estate Group of Irvine has acquired a 52-acre site in the city’s Verdemont area for a new shopping center that will be its fourth venture with San Francisco-based Rockwood Capital. The new center will be the latest in a series of Hopkins projects planned for the Inland Empire.The new retail venue will be developed at the intersection of the I-215 Freeway and Palm Avenue and will be called Verdemont Heights Towne Center. The location, which features more than a half mile of freeway frontage, will serve a growing Verdemont district that now shops about eight miles away because of the lack of retail centers.Nearly 7,000 new housing units are under construction or planned in the center’s trade area, which has a population of 150,000, notes Brian Hopkins, director of development for the Irvine-based firm. He says the center is planned to include general merchandise, home improvement, soft goods including fashion and linens, consumer electronics, sporting goods, a bookstore, a cinema and possibly a fitness club.The Verdemont retail site joins a Hopkins project list in the Inland Empire that includes a 380,000-sf shopping center called Vernola Marketplace that the developer plans to build in a joint venture with Rockwood Capital in unincorporated Riverside County at the southeast corner of I-15 and Limonite Avenue. The Riverside County Planning Commission recently approved Hopkins’ plans for the center.Another of its Inland Empire projects, called Menifee Valley Crossroads, is planned for a 27-acre site at the northeast corner of Interstate 215 and McCall Boulevard in Sun City. The 270,000-sf community shopping center will be designed to serve residents of Sun City, Menifee and other nearby communities where new housing developments are adding thousands of new residents.Besides those projects, HREG is developing Southern California centers in La Habra, Talega/SanClemente, Carson, Santa Clarita, Corona, Redlands, Palmdale, Whittier and Fontana. Rockwood Capital, based in San Francisco and Greenwich, CT, is an institutional private equity group that invests hotel, residential, office and retail properties.

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