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September 23, 2017
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ValueRock Completes Redevelopment of Retail Portion Lake Forest Center

5/05/17

ValueRock Realty Partners has completed the retail portion of a major redevelopment of Lake Forest Gateway Center in Lake Forest. The company has also received Lake Forest City Council approval to construct a 99-room Springhill Suites by Marriott on the project, located at 23592 Rockfield Blvd.

ValueRock has owned the mixed-use center for many years and has spent the past several years determining and planning the appropriate timing, use and design to initiate a major reinvestment and modernization program which upon completion of the hotel will be in excess of $50 mil.

Prior to the redevelopment, Lake Forest Gateway Center consisted of aging retail and offices buildings. ValueRock recognized that the center’s high-traffic, high-profile location on Lake Forest Drive adjacent to the 5 freeway would be better suited as a modernized property which would attract a stronger mix of retailers and restaurants.

After years of strategic planning, the firm initiated new construction by demolishing four of the existing buildings including the office buildings and a bank branch. ValueRock then constructed new buildings and initiated an entire redesign of the center to modernize the architecture.

“Once we began work on the center we were approached by multiple hotel operators who saw an opportunity to add a new hotel to the site,” said Dennis Vaccaro, senior vice president, ValueRock Realty Partners. “We then updated the development plan to forgo a portion of the new retail and replace it with the hotel component. The new plan creates a dynamic mixed-use property. Working together with our hotel partner we were able to gain city approval for the new development plan.”

The center has been re-tenanted with retailers and restaurants that will appeal to the local residents and businesses. New tenants include: Nektar Juice Bar, Starbucks, IHOP, Sears Appliance Center, Dickey’s Barbeque Pit, Phenix Salon, Waba Grill, and Which Which. These new tenants join existing tenants including: Panera Bread, Peppino’s, Buffalo Wild Wings and Inka Grill. Lake Forest Gateway is now nearly 100 percent occupied. ValueRock’s Ralph Ongkeko and Development Pat Cox represented the firm in these deals.

The new Springhill Suites will begin construction later this year with completion set for 2018. Along with the redevelopment, ValueRock also recently completed a refinancing of the project by Deutsche Bank for $36.1 mil.





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