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PALM DESERT, CA-Ashley Furniture has acquired four acres for a 50,000-sf store at the Desert Gateway shopping center here, and Wickes has purchased land in Victorville for a new 37,000-sf store as furniture retailers continue their expansion in the Inland Empire. According to the Hodgdon Group of San Bernardino, Ashley bought its parcel from Los Angeles-based Rothbart Development.

The Hodgdon Group, which negotiated the land sale and coordinated the entitlements for the new Ashley store, also will be the construction manager for the project. The new Ashley Furniture HomeStore is projected to open in the fall of 2007.

The new Ashley site is at the southeast corner of Monterey Avenue and Dinah Shore Drive at the 70-acre Desert Gateway, which is anchored by a Wal-Mart Supercenter and Sam’s Club. Aaron Hodgdon of the Hodgdon Group notes that the company is also under construction on a 64,000-sf Ashley Furniture HomeStore in Colton, adjacent to an 850,000-sf Ashley warehouse within an 81-acre Hodgdon Group development. Ashley is one of a number of furniture retailers that have expanded in the Inland Empire as the housing boom has created a new market for the retailers.

The new Wickes site in Victorville is at Amargosa Road and King Ranch, adjacent to Interstate 15. The furniture retailer bought the 2.3-acre site for more than $2.8 million and plans to build a 37,000-sf store on the land.

Vicki Donkin of the Ontario office of Sperry Van Ness, who represented seller Victor Village Associates II of Laguna Niguel in the sale to Wickes, reports that the furniture store and will include an adjacent multitenant retail pad. The land is near the Victor Valley Mall and the Village Center, a power center. Wickes was represented in the land sale by KlausTabar of Pointe Commercial.

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