Highland Plans $90M in Retail Projects

While many retailers are cooling their heals on new developments in light of what looks to be less consumer spending in 2008, Pasadena, Calif.,-based Highland Development Co. has invested nearly $90 million in retail projects, including a brand new development featuring the expanding grocery chain Tesco. The $20 million neighborhood shopping center, La Quinta, is located in Riverside County. It will include a 14,000-square-foot Tesco grocery store plus two retail pad buildings with an aggregate total of 18,300 square feet of space. Situated at the northeast corner of Calle Tampico and Desert Club Drive, Highland expects to break ground on the new development (pictured) in August, with completion slated for February 2009. This project is in addition to another upscale neighborhood shopping center, valued at $35 million, in Visalia, which will include a specialty market, drug store, sit-down restaurant, various quick-serve restaurants, cafes, retail shops and bank. The 14.3-acre project will include more than 82,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space. Highland Development hopes to announce the company names of the specialty market and drug store in the next 30 days. “Many retailers are focusing on areas where they do not have the market/store coverage they desire. In these areas, they need more stores to have a strong competitive market share,” Greg Hoxworth, president & CEO of Highland, told CPN today. “The drug stores and Tesco are aggressively expanding in the Southwest. Tesco … is expanding rapidly and causing other retailers to compete for sites such as the drug stores.” Additionally, Highland is 80 percent complete redeveloping 375,000 square feet of mixed-use peripheral properties located along the ring road of Macerich’s Metrocenter Mall, a 1.3 million-square-foot regional mall in Phoenix. Highland purchased the 28 acres in July 2005 for some $32 million from Skanlan Kemper Bard Co. of Portland as a value-add opportunity. At the time of the acquisition, the 35-year-old Metrocenter properties were more than 75 percent vacant. Highland has invested nearly $4 million in improvements, and to date has sold 11 of the 16 retail buildings to investors and users.Highland Development Company is a developer and investor in retail and retail-driven mixed-use projects throughout the Western United States. The firm is a subsidiary of The Marcus & Millichap Co. and currently has more than 1 million square feet in various stages of development or redevelopment in California and Arizona.