Indoor mall in Moreno Valley up for mixed-use makeover

Owner plans to add 1,900 apartments, two hotels, offices, dining pavilion in Inland Empire city

IGP Business Group's Matt Ilbak and Moreno Valley Mall (IPG Business Group, Moreno Valley Mall)
IGP Business Group's Matt Ilbak and Moreno Valley Mall (IPG Business Group, Moreno Valley Mall)

The Moreno Valley Mall might be in for a major mixed-use makeover.

The owner of the Inland Empire shopping mall has proposed redeveloping the 87-acre property to include new apartment towers, two hotels, an office building, redesigned retail space and an outdoor plaza, the Riverside Press-Enterprise reported.

Moreno Valley Mall Holding, a unit of IGP Business Group based in Moreno Valley, has filed plans to breathe new life into the struggling retail center at 22500 Town Cir.

The mall, which opened atop the former Riverside International Raceway in 1992, has since lost its Sears and Gottschalks anchor stores, as well as most of its former retail traffic.

IGP, which owns malls in Florida, Kansas and Missouri, would reposition the Moreno Valley Mall into a housing, hotel, conference and dining destination, while adding 2 percent more indoor retail space.

Officials in Riverside County’s second largest city said it’s crucial for the local economy that the makeover of the mall be a success.

“It is arguably our main gateway when you come in (to Moreno Valley) from the 60-215 interchange. It’s the first thing that you see,” City Councilman Ulises Cabrera told the newspaper. “It’s been struggling for a long time.”

International Growth Properties, which now does business as IGP Business Group, paid $63 million for the Moreno Valley Mall after submitting the highest bid in an online auction in 2017, according to Commercial RealEstate Direct.

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IGP, now based inside the mall, aims to build four apartment towers as high as seven stories, containing nearly 1,900 units.

It would also build two hotels with a combined 270 rooms, containing a restaurant and conference center. It would add a 60,000-square-foot office building, targeting medical, educational and professional tenants.

It would remodel the mall’s first and second floors and the large department-store buildings that once housed Sears and Gottschalks, taking the indoor space up slightly to 1.15 million square feet, with outdoor dining added.

And it would refashion the mall’s food court into a “pavilion”-style market featuring permanent and pop-up food vendors and food trucks.

An environmental review is expected to be completed this year. Construction is expected to start next year, and be completed in 2026.

The redevelopment follows a decline of indoor shopping malls across the U.S., of which a quarter of the nation’s 1,000 malls are expected to close by 2025.

The 45-year-old Redlands Mall, which closed in 2010 will soon be razed for 700 apartments and condominiums, along with outdoor village shops, restaurants and office space. The 70-year-old Carousel Mall in San Bernardino, which closed in 2017, is also up for redevelopment following a fire this month.

[Riverside Press-Enterprise] – Dana Bartholomew

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