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Peter’s Landing Marina, a retail and office property on Pacific Coast Highway overlooking Huntington Harbour, is in line for a makeover after being acquired by an upstart investment firm in Irvine.

Privately held Pendulum Property Partners in Irvine recently closed on the purchase of the nearly 100,000-square-foot, two-story property across the street from Sunset Beach near the iconic PCH water tower house.

It paid about $33 million, or about $300 per square foot, property records show.

Roughly half of the square footage is a collection of ground-level restaurants and other stores, while its second floor space holds offices.

The plan is to put additional money “for a significant repositioning” of the property, said Pendulum Managing Partner Kevin Hayes. The former partner at Lincoln Property Co.’s local office started Pendulum last year.

The Huntington Beach property is its second reported in Orange County; it spent an additional $41.6 million for three-story office 5 Peters Canyon in Irvine early this year.

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Its goal is to make the collection of upgraded restaurants and shops at Peter’s Landing a “regional draw,” Hayes said. “It’s a real special property and a coastal gem.”

Pendulum bought it from an affiliate of local private investor Taki Sun Inc. The new owners got a $31 million loan from San Francisco-based Acore Capital Mortgage to finance the deal, records show.

The more than 300 boat slips at the marina next to the shopping center will continue to be operated by the same owner and weren’t part of the transaction, Hayes said.

The deal is the second notable marina-related sale in Huntington Beach in the past five months.

In May, the Business Journal was the first to report on the sale of Huntington Harbor Bay Club, a roughly 13-acre waterfront site on Warner Avenue about half a mile from the ocean. The property was bought by Oculus VR co-founder Palmer Luckey in a deal records show to be about $34.5 million.

Huntington Harbor Bay Club is about 1.5 miles from Peter’s Landing, which sits close to the Sunset Beach-Seal Beach city line, an area with an eclectic mix of restaurants, including Don the Beachcomber and Taco Surf.

Peter’s Landing was built in the late 1970s by Rob Maguire, the famed Los Angeles developer and office owner, and is named after his grandson Peter, according to Hayes.

The site was part of an area in Sunset Beach being considered for rezoning a few years ago to incorporate housing. The city rejected the plan.

Ontario Brickyard

The revamp of the shopping center comes at a challenging time for retail developers.

The previous week, for example, the owner of the 5 Lagunas shopping center in Laguna Hills, Merlone Geier Partners, abruptly halted work at the site in order to reassess its plans for the property due to the impending loss of Macy’s as an anchor tenant.

“A lot of folks are scared of retail,” Hayes said.

The key is to give customers a unique experience, he said. While working with Lincoln Property, Hayes kicked off work at Trade, a redesigned food hall near John Wayne Airport that’s the first of its type in Irvine. It opened this past summer.

Pendulum has its eye on at least one site outside OC for retail development, a mix of new restaurants, shops and brew pubs near Ontario’s Citizens Business Bank Arena.

The project is called the Brickyard, a nod to its location near the former Ontario Motor Speedway. Plans got environmental-related city approvals in September, according to Hayes.

The seven-building development would total about 73,000 square feet and be surrounded by several thousand apartments planned for the immediate vicinity, according to city filings.

Pendulum is looking to spend about $200 million in investments annually in a mix of stable, income-producing assets and value-add deals, Hayes said earlier this year.

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