The first apartment project in the works as part of the larger redevelopment of Santa Ana’s MainPlace Mall will deliver this year, adding 309 rental units to the city’s housing inventory.
It’s among the largest rental housing projects under construction in Santa Ana, city records indicate.
Los Angeles commercial real estate developer Lowe will begin pre-leasing efforts soon for the first phase of Paloma, with roughly half of the units expected to come online this summer. The final apartments are expected to deliver by the end of the year.
After the first phase wraps construction, Lowe hopes to break ground on the second apartment project at MainPlace Mall, according to Senior Vice President Rob Reitenour, totaling 410 units on a 3-acre site.
W.E. O’Neil is the general contractor for both multifamily projects by Lowe.
Paloma broke ground at the start of last year, signaling the beginning of the $500 million redevelopment of the 64-year-old shopping center, Orange County’s 13th largest with $185.9 million in annual sales, according to Business Journal research.
As of last June, the mall counted roughly 1.1 million square feet of leasable space and 138 stores, down from about 190 stores a decade ago. It’s owned by Dallas-based Centennial Real Estate Co.
The apartments are going up on a parking lot near the mall’s Nordstrom store, which shuttered in 2017. A new parking structure with 585 spaces is included as part of the first multifamily phase.
The former Nordstrom site will also house additional uses as part of the redevelopment’s first phase, including dining, community hubs and event spaces.
Housing at the mall will cater to “a broad demographic range,” according to Lowe’s website.
The five-story, 420,000-square-foot Paloma building will count one- and two-bedroom units at an average size of 830 square feet. The second apartment property, a podium-style building, will also be five stories, and span 443,526 square feet.
Centennial is working on converting an enclosed area of the mall into an open-air plaza spanning the length of the marketplace to include performance and concert venues, art displays and other gathering spaces. It will also reimagine the mall’s food court into a modern food hall.
Latter phases of the redevelopment may add creative and medical offices totaling 140,000 square feet, according to Centennial’s website, a “gourmet grocer” as well as a hotel.
The mall will include 492,000 square feet of small shop space following the redevelopment, less than half its prior retail footprint.
MainPlace is one of several Orange County malls in the process of redevelopment as landlords look to revitalize retail offerings while boosting housing. Other developments are taking place at the former Laguna Hills Mall, as well as Westminster Mall and the Irvine portion of the Market Place.
Those redevelopment projects could add north of 4,500 apartments and more than 1 million square feet of new commercial space.