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LOS ANGELES-The Hollywood-based CIM Group has signed the Lowe’s home improvement chain for a 116,000-sf store at CIM’s $114 million, 390,000-sf Midtown Plaza retail development. The project, which is planned for a 12-acre site at the corner of San Vicente and Pico boulevards, will combine major retailers such as Lowe’s with a group of smaller retailers and restaurants along with a new bus transit terminal.

Shaul Kuba, principal and co-founder of CIM Group, notes that the project is “transforming a large property that has been an eyesore in the community for decades.” The Lowe’s, to be located along the Pico Boulevard side of the property on the north of the project site, will include a 17,200-sf garden center.

Construction on the Lowe’s is expected to get under way in the first quarter of 2007, with an anticipated opening in the winter of 2008. The Midtown Plaza development will feature a stacked design that takes advantage of the different elevations on the site.

The Venice Boulevard frontage on the south side, which is higher, will include retailers and restaurants in 166,000 sf of space. A new MTA bus terminal has been built into the site at the corner of Pico and San Vicente, with 11 berths and 15,000 sf of street-front retail that includes a Panda Express, Footlocker, Wells Fargo and Starbucks. Combined surface and structured parking will provide 1,400 spaces.

With the bus terminal and in-line shops complete, construction on the remainder of the project is expected to get under way in the first quarter of 2007, with completion anticipated for winter 2008. The project represents a collaboration between the CIM Group, the Los Angeles Community Redevelopment Agency and the office of Los Angeles City Councilman Herb Wesson, who notes that CIM will be developing in an area that retailers “have overlooked for years.”

The area’s large population now “travels miles to find the shopping options that most of us take for granted,” Wesson points out. CIM’s Kuba notes that the new Lowe’s will carry “a substantial stock of building products, fixtures and appliances that currently are not available to local shoppers.”

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