CHINO HILLS, CA-Opus West has started construction of the 500,000-sf Commons at Chino Hills power center, a $150 million project that will feature regional and national retailers and restaurants as well as a 200-room hotel. The 50-acre project will feature a 170,000-sf Lowe’s and will take shape on a former agricultural site adjacent to the Chino Valley (71) Freeway at Chino Hills Parkway and Ramona Avenue.

Opus West describes the center, which is expected to be completed in late summer 2008, as an answer to the growing population and upscale demographics in this Inland Empire community. Opus has sold 12.5 acres to anchor tenant Lowe’s and 4.5 acres to the Ayres Hotel Group for development of the hotel.

In addition, Toys R Us recently signed a lease for a 64,000-sf Toys R Us/Babies R Us combination store, while Lucille’s Smokehouse BBQ has signed a 10,000-sf lease.

Kyle Dorand, senior manager of real estate development for Opus West, says that the tenant mix for the project “is coming together better than we ever anticipated.” He cites the region’s “increasing demand for premier national and specialty retailers as well as upscale and casual dining.”

Designed by Pasadena-based KKE Architects Inc., the new power center enjoys freeway visibility and is being marketed by Richard Rizika and Greg Whitney of CB Richard Ellis. The project follows another Opus West development already under way in the area, the 400,000-sf Shoppes at Chino Hills, an open-air lifestyle center at Grand Avenue and Peyton Drive, just west of the 71 Freeway. The Shoppes project is scheduled for completion in the spring of 2008.

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