LBG, Aviva Nab Mammoth CA Shopping Mall

The JV aims to implement an entirely new merchandising strategy for the asset as well as extensive rebranding and redevelopment. The property sits on nearly 77 acres of land and offers views of the San Francisco Bay.

Hilltop Mall interior
Hilltop Mall interior

A joint venture between LBG Real Estate Cos. and Aviva Investors has acquired Hilltop Mall, a 1,100,000-square-foot regional mall in the East Bay city of Richmond, Calif.

“The property has all of the fundamental elements of a really successful retail development and has only suffered because of its ownership history,” Leslie Lundin, LBG’s managing partner, told Commercial Property Executive. “It’s a true diamond in the rough and we believe that we can bring it back not only to the glorious retail center that it once was and go even further by doing the residential and future commercial development that is so desired by the community.”

Located at 2200 Hilltop Mall Road, the property was originally constructed in 1976 and renovated about a decade ago. The tenant roster includes Macy’s, Walmart, Sears, and 24-Hour Fitness. 

The mall sits on nearly 77 acres of land and offers views of the San Francisco Bay. It’s about 20 miles northeast of San Francisco, and 25 miles south of Napa, making it a 30-minute drive from San Francisco, Oakland, Berkeley, Walnut Creek, Napa and Marin County.   

“I would say that the area has been improving but it actually didn’t need to as it’s very Irvine-like already,” Lundin said. “Most people just don’t realize this. Richmond overall is experiencing a renaissance however which is certainly beneficial. Malls all over the Bay Area are successfully going through similar transformations. This is one of the last ones available.”

Long-Lasting Strategy

According to Lundin, the company aims to implement an entirely new merchandising strategy for the mall as well as extensive rebranding and redevelopment. The retail redevelopment will include significant upgrades to the building exterior, interior common areas, and signage surrounding the property. 

“We love to fix broken retail. That’s been our background for the past 25 years,” she added. “It’s extremely rewarding to go into a city and turn around such an iconic property.”

LBG will also explore a larger redevelopment to take advantage of the zoning in place which would allow for more than 9,600 housing units at the property, plus possible office and hotel components.

“The views are spectacular. The proximity to so many major markets, the fact that it has its own ramp off of I-80 and the surrounding demographics are just a few of the items that make this an extraordinary property,” Lundin said. “We are starting interior and exterior improvements immediately and will continue for the next few years as we re-tenant the space.”