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LA HABRA, CA-Hopkins Real Estate Group of Costa Mesa has lined up a $35.8 million loan through Wrightwood Capital to provide construction financing for the Newport Beach-based developer’s 220,000-sf Imperial Promenade. The project is under way on a 17-acre parcel at Imperial Highway and Idaho Street that formerly was the site of a Kmart.

The development is a joint venture between Hopkins and Irvine-based Arnel Capital Partners that will include retail shops, services and restaurants. It is expected to be completed in June and has signed a tenant roster including Target, Circuit City and a number of restaurants.

The development location is less than a mile east of the Imperial Highway and Beach Boulevard, one of the top retail intersections in Orange County, notes Jason Choulochas, western regional director of investments in Wrightwood Capital’s Newport Beach office. The project will capitalize on the growing retail demand in North Orange County, where rents are rising and vacancy rates falling, Choulochas says.

Built in 1994, the property originally totaled 178,578 sf of retail space and was a build-to-suit for Super Kmart, which vacated the store following its 2002 bankruptcy. The project is one of a number of former Kmart sites in the Southland that have been redeveloped or targeted for redevelopment since the giant retailer closed hundreds of stores in connection with its bankruptcy filing, before it merged with Sears to form Sears Holdings Corp.

The Kmart store at the Imperial Promenade site operated for about 10 years and has been vacant since closing in 2003. The former Kmart location is one of a list of Hopkins projects now under way that includes developments throughout Southern California. Among them are centers in Carson, Santa Clarita, San Clemente, Redlands, La Habra, Whittier, Fontana, Eastvale Sun City, San Bernardino, Palmdale and Palm Springs.

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