LA MESA, Calif. – After nearly 60 years of family ownership, Grossmont Center has been sold to a real estate investment company which has set its sights set on redeveloping the property.
This year, Federal Realty Investment Trust acquired a 60% controlling interest in the shopping center from San Diego’s Cushman family at a value of $175 million, a company news release shows. The company won’t have control over all of the spaces in the 925,000-square-foot facility until 2025, but they’ve called it “an unencumbered ‘blank canvas’ for redevelopment.”
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As is, the site is nearly fully occupied with established anchor stores including Target, Walmart, Macy’s and Barnes and Noble, among others.
In total, it accounts for about 20% of the city of La Mesa’s sales tax revenue, according to La Mesa City Councilman Colin Parent, who noted the community will be able to offer input before any major changes occur on the property.
“I use to buy comic books at the Barnes and Noble right here and it’s still here,” Parent said, “so it’s a big part of the history in the community.”
Parent says there has been some chatter about housing options being added to the site.
“There has been interest in doing some housing on some parts of the property and I think that makes a lot of sense,” he said.
Not all residents were necessarily on board with that plan.
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El Cajon resident Virginia Howard said she does majority of her shopping at Grossmont and doesn’t agree with housing being a possibility in the redevelopment process.
“For this area, I think they need that mall because where they going to go, all the way to El Cajon?” Howard said. “The other Walmart is where in College Grove. I think they should leave it here for the community.”