PASO ROBLES, CA-Regency Centers plans a new 291,612-sf shopping center called Golden Hills Plaza that will be anchored by Lowe’s and other national retailers and will be developed on a site of nearly 26 acres that the Jacksonville, FL-based retail center owner and operator has acquired. Paul Loubet, vice president for investments at the Irvine office of Regency Centers, tells that the company has lined up Lowe’s as an anchor for the center and is negotiating with Circuit City, PetSmart and Bed, Bath & Beyond as well as a number of other local and regional retail, professional and service businesses.

The Regency property is vacant land at the northwest corner of Highway 46 and Golden Hills Road, in an area of northern Paso Robles that is close to San Luis Obispo and Morro Bay, Loubet notes. He says the company expects to begin construction of Golden Hills Plaza this year and to have the property ready for the tenants to open for business by the middle of next year.

Loubet cites the demand for “a broad mix of retailers” in the Central Coast region of California. “In general, the Central California Coast is a very desirable place for us to own land and a very desirable location for retailers,” he says.

Loubet points out that the scarcity of development sites, robust retail sales and strong demographics make the region desirable for shopping center owners and retailers alike. “It is generally a very under-served area for retail,” he says.

The latest economic forecast by the University of California at Santa Barbara calls Paso Robles “San Luis Obispo Countyʼs economic engine.” It notes that the city “leads the county in almost every measure of economic activity,” has “a very robust job market” and is building a substantial tourism sector as a result of the growth in the number of wineries in the region, which now total about 170.

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