Big California lifestyle center owner acquires four grocery-anchored centers

Al Urbanski
Real Estate Editor & Manager
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DJM, redevelopers of Ovation Hollywood, are getting into the business of remaking neighborhood centers.

DJM Capital, owner of Ovation Hollywood & Highland and Bella Terra in Huntington Beach has seen what's essential and this week closed on four neighborhood centers in California.

The centers were acquired from Merlone Geier through a joint venture with affiliates of Fortress Investment Group total 488,000 sq. ft. All are located in Southern California except for Deer Creek Village—the largest of the group at 257,000 sq. ft. in Petaluma.

DJM homes in on coastal locations filled with high household incomes to find properties they can re-develop or re-curate to create more traffic and customer engagement. Pacific City, for instance, stages more than 400 events as traffic draws each year.  The company’s website states that its acquisition strategy focuses on elite markets in coastal California coastal locations with potential for high returns.

“Well located, outdoor, daily needs retail has continued to outperform expectations across all of DJM’s portfolio,” said the company’s senior VP of investments Rob Grant. “This category of retail has shown resiliency throughout the pandemic and we are looking forward to even more growth as we emerge from the pandemic.”

Company management has plainly stated that it is in post-pandemic growth mode and is widening its sights on the kinds of properties it believes can benefit from what it calls the “DJM touch.”

“We are proud of our ability to create value through placemaking, merchandising, physical upgrades, and best-in-class operations. We will be able to create relevant retail destinations for the communities that these four properties serve,” said DJM president Lindsay Parton.

The other three centers included in the deal besides Deer Creek Village were Poway Town Center in Poway, Magnolia & Adams in Huntington Beach, and Magnolia & Warner in Fountain Valley.