CHULA VISTA, CA-Developer Sudberry Properties has plans for an upscale retail project adjacent to its existing 410,000-sf Eastlake Village Marketplace development. The new project, which will be known as Village Walk at Eastlake, will sit on 13.25 acres and count 157,000 sf. It is set to break ground in February 2006.Fremont Investment & Loan recently closed a $51.5 million loan with Sudberry for the acquisition and development of the project. The project is already close to 75% pre-leased, according to Sudberry founder, Tom Sudberry. Tenants signed up include Borders Books, Henry’s Marketplace, Petco, Pier One and Trader Joes.Sudberry tells the new project has other tenants in negotiation that will bring the development to 85% preleased. He says Village Walk differs from its next door neighbor, which counts Lowe’s and Target among its major tenants. “Village Walk will be more of a specialty retail center,” says Sudberry. “We envision it as a place with ambience, where customers can drink coffee and hang out.”The project will include bronze sculptures, among its features. Sudberry says Village Walk will be “the most upscale retail development in all of San Diego.” He adds that it fits the Eastlake community’s demographic. The master planned community has been voted San Diego’s best new home community in The San Diego Union-Tribune reader’s poll every year since 1997.Sarah R. Woodward, vice president & regional manager of Fremont’s Irvine office, says, its loan with Sudberry is “Fremont’s first loan under its new $1 billion retail loan program.” Woodward tells the new loan program “targets funds for retail construction projects that are substantially pre-leased and sponsored by high quality borrowers.”She adds that Fremont will target projects in the $40 million to $200 million range with the retail loan program. “We’re looking at large-scale retail projects on a national basis,” Woodward says. “We believe with all the condo projects going up, there will be a strong demand for retail.”

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