SAN CLEMENTE, CA-The Irvine-based Hopkins Real Estate Group has started construction on Talega Village Center, a 103,000-sf neighborhood shopping center at the southwest corner of Avenida Vista Hermosa and Avenida Talega in the 3,500-acre master planned community of Talega. The first tenants, including a 46,000-sf Ralphs Fresh Fare, are expected to open by the end of September, with the remaining tenants scheduled for staggered openings throughout the fourth quarter.

Hopkins has leased 90% of the space at the center, with a tenant roster that includes Panera Bread, Peet’s Coffee, Wells Fargo, Eric Hanan, Blue Eyed Girl, Juice It Up, Paper Annex, Wild’s Animal Supplies, Fitness Together, Talega Cleaners and Verizon.

According to Jeff Hopkins, development manager for Hopkins Real Estate Group, demand for the specialty retailers, services and restaurants has been strong in Talega and the surrounding communities. Irvine-based KKE Architects is designing the center to tie in with the Spanish Colonial architecture throughout the area, with the Irvine office of Lee & Associates handling leasing on the project.

Hopkins is developing Talega Village Center as a joint venture with Rockwood Capital, an institutional private equity group that invests across asset classes, including hotel, residential, office, retail and land. Rockwood is based in San Francisco and Greenwich, CT.

Hopkins and Rockwood are partners on four other projects now in development in Southern California. Among HREG’s other significant projects in the region are centers in Carson, Santa Clarita, Redlands, La Habra, Whittier, Fontana, Mira Loma, Sun City, San Bernardino, Palm Springs and Palmdale.

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