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JV Scoops Up Massive 1.1M SF Mall On California’s East Bay

The massive property offers up views of the San Francisco Bay, and it was most recently renovated about a decade ago.
LBG Real Estate Cos. and Aviva Investors have teamed up for a joint venture to acquire the Hilltop Mall, a 1,100,000-square-foot property that sprawls across nearly 77 acres of land the East Bay city of Richmond, California. Leslie Lundin, LBG’s managing partner, offered up some thoughts on the acquisition during an interview with Commercial Property Executive.

Hilltop Mall

“The property has all of the fundamental elements of a really successful retail development and has only suffered because of its ownership history,” she said. “It’s a true diamond in the rough, and we believe that we can bring it back not only to the glorious retail center that it once was and go even further by doing the residential and future commercial development that is so desired by the community.”

Current tenants include 24-Hour Fitness, Macy’s, Sears and Walmart, and the property is conveniently located in a driving distance of all of the Bay Area’s hot spots. 

“I would say that the area has been improving, but it didn’t need to as it’s very Irvine-like already. Most people just don’t realize this. Richmond overall is experiencing a renaissance however which is certainly beneficial,” Lundin added. “Malls all over the Bay Area are successfully going through similar transformations. This is one of the last ones available.”

No word on what the price tag was for this massive transaction, but the JV has its sights set on reviving this huge mall into a retail hub. 

“We love to fix broken retail. That’s been our background for the past 25 years. It’s extremely rewarding to go into a city and turn around such an iconic property. The views are spectacular. The proximity to so many major markets, the fact that it has its ramp off of I-80 and the surrounding demographics are just a few of the items that make this an extraordinary property,” Lundin continued. “We are starting interior and exterior improvements immediately and will continue for the next few years as we re-tenant the space.”

It’s easy to see why the JV is excited about the potential of Hilltop Mall, as the Bay Area of California is booming. It sounds like they have a plan in place to maximize the property’s potential as well, so it’ll be interesting to track the progress of the Hilltop Mall.  

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