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DJM Gets Green Light for Bella Terra Rentals

300-Unit Project Expects To Deliver by 2026

DJM Capital Partners Inc. is moving ahead with additional mixed-use plans for Bella Terra, Huntington Beach’s largest mall by taxable sales.

The San Jose-based private equity real estate group and financial partner PGIM this month announced it got the green light from the Surf City’s city council to demolish and replace the existing 149,000-square-foot Burlington Coat Factory near the shopping center, as well as an additional surrounding 30,000 square feet of retail, with a 300-unit apartment project.

The approvals come amidst a larger push from mall owners to add residential components to better meet market demands.

Upgrades

DJM, which also developed the Pacific City shopping center in Huntington Beach, plans to break ground by the end of 2023 on the six-story building, which will include 25,000 square feet of ground-floor retail and a parking structure.

The project is expected to open in early 2026, adding to the base of existing apartments on the grounds of the shopping center.

“Since acquiring Bella Terra almost 20 years ago, we are proud to continue these development projects to enhance the city while listening to community needs,” DJM President Lindsay Parton said in a statement. “The updated retail mix will provide new residential tenants with ‘daily needs retail’ while also providing attractions and amenities to the larger community.”

DJM bought Bella Terra—formerly the Huntington Beach Mall—in 2005 and has since invested in tenant and aesthetic upgrades, including the addition of an open-air courtyard and beer and wine garden in 2019.

The center, which had a Whole Foods Market and Cheesecake Factory among its stores, had an estimated $121 million in taxable sales for the 12 months ended June 30, according to the Business Journal’s annual Shopping Centers list published on Nov. 7. It ranked No. 19 on that list.

PGIM, DJM, Burnham Ward

PGIM is part of the ownership of Bella Terra, which spans 852,000 square feet off the San Diego (405) Freeway on Edinger Avenue.

PGIM and DJM also own and manage the Long Beach Exchange; PGIM paid nearly $160 million for the 246,500-square-foot grocery-anchored retail center about 7 miles from Seal Beach at the start of the year.

Burnham Ward Properties LLC sold the 26-acre complex for about $600 per square foot.

DJM and Burnham Ward also oversee much of the retail and restaurant space in the Lido Marina Village area.

Other local shopping centers seeing the addition of housing as part of redevelopment plans include, but isn’t limited to: Brea Mall; MainPlace Mall in Santa Ana; Fullerton Town Center; Westminster Mall; the former Laguna Hills Mall (now Village at Laguna Hills); the Outlets at Orange; and the Irvine side of the Market Place.

For more on those plans, and other upgrades in store for OC’s shopping centers, see the Nov. 7 Business Journal print edition.

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