Primestor pays $37M for Hilltop Plaza mall in East Bay’s Richmond

New owner cites growing minority market and “high barriers to entry” behind acquisition

Primestor Buys Hilltop Plaza Mall in Richmond for $37M
Primestor's Arturo Sneider with Hilltop Plaza at 3190-4251 Klose Way in Richmond (Primestor)

Primestor has picked up a 245,900-square-foot shopping center in Richmond for $36.5 million.

The Culver City-based investor bought the Hilltop Plaza on 59 acres at 3190-4251 Klose Way, the San Francisco Business Times and San Jose Mercury News reported. The seller appears to be Site Centers, based in Ohio.

The deal for the strip mall near I-80 and Richmond Parkway works out to $148 per square foot.

The retail center is across the street from the larger Hilltop Mall, a zombie mall where Prologis aims to build a large mixed-use development, according to the newspaper.

Primestor develops, manages and leases community-oriented projects with a focus on underserved minority markets, and has invested more than $1 billion in urban, mixed-use projects, according to its website.

“Hilltop Plaza represents the opportunity to acquire a strategic infill project that aligns with our investment strategy of empowering communities through the acquisition and management of institutional quality real estate,” Lonnie Vidaurri, chief investment officer for Primestor, said in a statement.

“The project is characterized by high barriers to entry” and “a rapidly expanding minority population,” Vidaurri said.

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Hilltop Plaza is between 86 percent and 88 percent occupied by such tenants as Ross Dress for Less, City Sports Club, dd’s Discounts, and a Century Theatres movie complex. Rhiana Lindsey, director of leasing for Primestor, said the firm is pursuing additional tenants.

With Richmond’s new specific plan, which outlines development standards for the area, Primestor could explore other uses for the site.

Brokers Geoff Tranchina, Eric Kathrein, Gleb Lvovich and Warren McClean of JLL represented both the buyer and the seller in the deal.

In 2021, San Francisco-based Prologis bought the 78-acre Hilltop Mall for $117 million. The developer is now designing a mixed-use redevelopment of the defunct mall.

Prologis has not yet submitted a proposal to the city, but in a May 29 neighborhood council meeting highlighted several uses that could rise at the site, including housing, retail, office, hotel, industrial and schools, according to the Business Times.

In April last year, Primestor raised $165 million for a new fund to focus on building multifamily and retail properties near public transit across the state. 

— Dana Bartholomew

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