We purchased the Esplanade Plaza in Oxnard (Ventura County), California in December 1999. The 490,000 sq. ft. enclosed mall, developed in 1970, was anchored by Sears and Robinsons May. The property was well located adjacent to Hwy 101 and dominated the trade area for 20 years but was ultimately over-shadowed by the expansion and renovation of another mall in an adjacent city. By the end of 1999, Sears and Robinsons May closed their stores. We acquired the enclosed mall portion of the property with 38% vacancy and subsequently acquired both the Sears and Robinson-May parcels.
We demolished all the existing improvements and redeveloped the property as a large power center. We worked with the city to secure approvals for the reconfiguration and negotiated lease terminations or buyouts with nearly 80 tenants to clear the mall. The new center included anchor tenants Staples, T.J. Maxx, Nordstrom Rack, Bed Bath & Beyond, Borders and Old Navy. We also sold a parcel in the middle of the center to Home Depot who built a 135,000 sq. ft. store. Within 18 months the center was 100% leased. We sold the center in October 2003.