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Grossmont Center has new owner with redevelopment plans

Posted at 3:43 PM, Aug 13, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-13 22:46:19-04

LA MESA, Calif. (KGTV) -- After decades of family ownership, a real estate investment firm has bought a majority stake in Grossmont Center with plans to redevelop the mall.

Federal Realty, a publicly traded real estate investment trust, announced earlier this summer that it purchased a 60 percent interest in the 64-acre site, valued at $175 million. The firm said the mall is 99 percent occupied with stores like Target, Walmart and Barnes and Noble, but that it will have control of the property in 2025.

"Federal Realty anticipates increasing the value of Grossmont over time through redevelopment of the property as the Company can control all the space in 2025, a unique opportunity providing an unencumbered 'blank canvas' for redevelopment," the firm said in a news release.

The Cushman family had owned La Mesa's Grossmont Center for decades. Most recently, the family increased events in and around the property, which was the site of a Covid vaccination super center.

Gary London, a commercial real estate analyst, said malls have been trying to reinvent themselves as destinations, part of the effort to compete with online shopping. Firms have been also purchasing underperforming malls, scaling back the retail and adding other uses, such as housing and offices, London said.

"They're going to look at residential, office, hotel, different kinds of retail, probably smaller footprint of retail to explore what the best mix of uses are," said London, senior principal of London Moeder Advisors.

ABC 10News has reached out to the Cushman family and is waiting to hear back. A spokeswoman for Federal Realty said nobody was available for comment Friday.