Bob Shallit

Sale could bring big changes for Sunrise Mall

A New York real estate company has acquired Sunrise Mall, shown here in July 2014.
A New York real estate company has acquired Sunrise Mall, shown here in July 2014.

A New York real estate company has acquired Sunrise Mall in a deal that could lead to major upgrades at the 43-year-old Citrus Heights shopping center.

Real estate sources said Friday the 1.1 million-square-foot center was acquired by Spinoso Real Estate Group after a sales effort that took nearly a year.

Robert Cole, a senior vice president with the JLL brokerage company, which listed the property, confirmed a sale of the center closed escrow Friday afternoon. He declined to identify the buyer or a sales price.

He said the property “attracted broad investor interest from local and regional as well as national investors.” And he added that the deal offers an opportunity to “reposition a key asset centrally located within one of our region’s strongest retail trade areas. “

Officials with Spinoso would not be reached for comment Friday.

The seller was the Steadfast Cos. of Newport Beach, which acquired the center in 2008 for an estimated $110 million.

The sales price this time was probably closer to half of that amount, said retail broker Steve Edwards, who consulted with one company that made an unsuccessful bid for the property.

He said Sunrise has “obvious” benefits in terms of high traffic counts along Sunrise Boulevard. But he said it has become “tired” in recent years as consumer dollars have flowed to more vibrant centers in Folsom and Roseville.

He said the new owners will likely pursue a renovation of the fortress-like mall, aimed at making it more open while bringing in new uses.

“I absolutely believe it will be redeveloped in some capacity – not scraped from end to end but redeveloped with some mixed uses, including residential as part of it,” he said.

He also said a likely strategy is to add more “pad” developments on the periphery of the 96-acre property and emulate some of the remodeling that’s proved successful at Marketplace at Birdcage, the center on the opposite side of Sunrise.

But he stressed any changes will require cooperation from the mall’s anchors – Macy’s, Sears and JCPenney – which own much of their own space.

The JLL sales team included Cole, Alan Stevenson and brokers in the company’s office in New York City.

Midtown eatery makes an exit

Tamaya Sushi Bar & Grill, the popular midtown Japanese restaurant, is closing Dec. 4 after 10 years of operation.

The reason? It’s complicated.

Mary Mesa, lease manager with building owner Eleventh & L Properties, said one of the original Tamaya partners had sold his interest in the business but stayed on as the primary lessee.

When the lease expired, that person – David Leung – said he wished to sign a new lease for a new restaurant he planned to open at the Tamaya site, at 2131 J St., Mesa said.

“It will be a fusion restaurant – Japanese with other influences,” she said, adding that the new business will probably open in a few months after renovations.

Jason Cheng, Tamaya’s current operator, said he eventually will look for a new location for Tamaya.

But first, he said, “we want to take a break for a few months or so.”

Rising from the ashes

Speaking of restaurants, Meet & Eat has finally opened at 3445 Freeport Blvd., the site of a former Crepe Escape that was razed by a fire more than two years ago.

It’s a “super soft” opening, night manager Ian Boalt said of the restaurant’s first week of operations, as staff is trained and the menu is fine-tuned.

The plan is to offer “high-end” burgers and tacos, salads and a lot more. Breakfasts, traditional and European style, also will be served. Once its alcohol permit is awarded, the restaurant will have 24 craft beers on tap along with a diverse wine selection.

A sign on one interior wall gives an alliterative take on the restaurant’s fare: “Bread, Burgers, Bubbles, Brew, Belly, Butter, Bacon & Beyond.”

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