El Segundo, Calif.-based company Pacific Retail Capital Partners (PRCP) recently announced that it had acquired The Shops at Palm Desert. Located in the heart of Coachella Valley, the traditional, enclosed shopping mall incorporates nearly 1 million square feet of Palm Desert, Calif., retail space.

PRCP is one of the nation’s leading retail real estate development, investment, management, and advisory firms with investments focused exclusively on evolving retail-led real estate. This deal marked the firm’s second property purchase in 2023. The first was Bridgewater Commons in Bridgewater, N.J.

Intentions for the 72-acre property include developing an innovative master plan that would transform it into a vibrant, mixed-use destination and create a notable civic gathering place that contributes to the existing character of the Coachella Valley region.

The Shops at Palm Desert. Property image courtesy of CommercialEdge.com

In terms of redevelopment, this represents the fourth mall-to-mixed-use project that PRCP has announced since Q3 2022. Others include: The Galleria at White Plains in White Plains, N.Y.; Yorktown Center in Lombard, Ill.; and The Shops at South Town in Sandy, Utah.

“There has been a fundamental shift in the way retail owners and operators approach new markets,” said Oscar Parra, chief financial officer of PRCP. “We look for communities that understand and acknowledge that the retail landscape has changed drastically over the last 20 years. Instead of just accelerating goods and services, these cities are asking, ‘What should we be accelerating?’ For many markets, the answer is housing, green spaces, and communal areas — or mixed-use destinations — that create an environment of live, work, and play for residents, and cities are choosing to partner with us because of our extensive track record of designing viable real estate for the future.”

Located in the heart of Palm Desert’s Highway 111 corridor, The Shops at Palm Desert is well-positioned to welcome residents and tourists alike on their way to the Coachella Valley’s many recreational offerings. Most recently renovated in 2013, the mall is anchored by JCPenney, Macy’s, Dick’s Sporting Goods, and Barnes & Noble.

The Shops at Palm Desert. Property image courtesy of CommercialEdge.com

“PRCP specializes in evolving real estate for the next generation, and we are very excited to apply our proven value-creation strategy to The Shops at Palm Desert,” said Steve Plenge, chief executive officer of PRCP. “We see so much embedded potential in the asset, which we plan to unlock by unencumbering underutilized retail space and adding a mixed-use component that includes green space, multifamily, entertainment, and more. We look forward to getting started and working in partnership with the City of Palm Desert throughout this process.”

The vibrant and thriving southern California city has recorded double-digit population growth since 2010 and has attracted significant development to the area. Recent projects include the Acrisure Arena — a premiere venue with a capacity of more than 11,000 that’s designed to host the biggest global artists and acts — which opened in 2022.

Notable upcoming projects include Disney’s ambitious mixed-use development Cotino, which was approved in 2019. Spanning 618 acres in neighboring Rancho Mirage (near where founder Walt Disney once owned a home), the planned community of estates, single-family homes, and condominiums will feature the Storytelling by Disney residential concept — an infusion of Disney elements and themes throughout residents’ everyday living and gathering spaces.

The Shops at Palm Desert. Property image courtesy of CommercialEdge.com

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