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Property near Otay Ranch to become shopping center

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Escrow has closed on an 86-acre piece of property within the Otay Ranch area of Chula Vista. The land was sold to General Growth Properties Inc., of Chicago and will be developed into an 867,000-acre shopping center.

Brokers on the transaction included Mike Morris of Morris and Campbell for the seller, and Jon Bilger of CB Richard Ellis for the buyer. The purchase price was not disclosed.

The shopping center will be included in the third phase of McMillin Lomas Verdes, the master-planned, mixed-use community being developed by The Corky McMillin Cos., where more than 1,000 homes have been built to date along with four parks, an elementary and a church. Mater Dei Catholic High School, with a church onsite, will open in fall 2006.

Located in the center of Otay Ranch, the regional lifestyle shopping center is part of the development plan laid out by the city years ago. It is situated alongside commercial property being developed by McMillin and is anticipated to be similar in size and scope to University Towne Centre. The shopping center will be adjacent to the new State Route 125 freeway.

The center will include three major department stores, more than 100 specialty shops, six full-service restaurants plus a food court, a large bookstore, specialty market, sporting goods retailer and a 16-screen cinema. Grading is under way on the site, and an opening of Otay Ranch Town Center is planned for the fall of 2006.

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