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New life for struggling Bay Area mall


A 40-year-old mall in San Francisco’s East Bay that was put on the auction block has been snatched up by a partnership that pledges to revitalize the “irreplaceable” property.

New owners LGB Real Estate Companies and Aviva Investors see a successful, mixed-use future for the 1.1 million-sq.-ft. retail center.

In a press release LBG stated it would take advantage of Hilltop’s location to build more than 9.600 housing units, office space, and hotels and revitalize the site’s viability to support retail, dining and entertainment.

Situated 20 miles northeast of San Francisco and 25 miles south of Napa in Richmond, the 77-acre site has its own exit off of Interstate 80 and offers views of San Francisco Bay.

“The Hilltop District has the potential to become the premier East Bay residential, mixed-use, walkable community of the future,” said Doug Beiswenger, managing partner in charge of entitlements and construction for LBG.

Vacancy rates have shot up at Hilltop Mall in recent years. Original anchor J.C. Penney is closing this month. LBG has in mind a retail rebranding and renovation that will include significant upgrades to the building exterior, interior common areas, and signage.

“The surrounding neighborhood has great growth opportunities that contribute to a strong value-proposition,” said Russ Bates, head of the Americas for Aviva Investors’ Global Indirect Real Estate Group.

C-III Asset Management handled the transaction as special servicer for a CMBS securitization. The purchase price was not disclosed.

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