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MURRIETA, CA-Regency Centers of Jacksonville, FL kicks off construction today on its Murrieta Marketplace, a 470,000-sf shopping center that will feature retailers, banks and restaurants, including a 137,940-sf Target and a 124,076-sf Lowe’s. The Florida-based retail REIT’s new center will take shape on a site at Clinton Keith and Winchester roads, one of the busiest intersections in Southwest Riverside County in a growing part of the Inland Empire.

According to Jim Reuter, Regency Centers vice president of investments, the company acquired the land for the shopping center in July 2007 with a view toward developing “in one of the area’s busiest future residential and retail growth corridors.” The intersection of Clinton Keith and Winchester roads provides access to the Interstate 15 and Interstate 215 freeways, two of the primary traffic arteries in the Inland Empire. The Murrieta Marketplace project is expected to be constructed in phases and to be completed in 2010.

The Murrieta Marketplace development is one of a number of new retail projects either under way or recently opened in the Inland Empire, where developers say that some communities are still underserved by retail because of all of the home building that occurred over the past five or six years in the Inland Empire—a region east of Los Angeles that consists of Riverside and and San Bernardino counties and was one of the fastest-growing parts of the US in recent years.

The start of Murrieta Marketplace follows the recent groundbreaking for Regency’s $70 million Golden Hills Plaza, a nearly 300,000-sf shopping center in Paso Robles, CA, about 300 miles north of Murrieta. The Golden Hills Plaza center will feature Lowe’s, Bed, Bath & Beyond and other retailers. Besides the 169,112-sf Lowe’s and the 25,000-sf Bed, Bath & Beyond, the property includes 23 other parcels for lease, according to Regency Centers. Among the other retailers will be El Pollo Loco, the UPS Store, Sky Nails & Spa, Supercuts and Quiznos.

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