Santa Monica real estate company J.S. Rosenfield & Co. has acquired Larkspur Landing Shopping Center, a 173,000-square-foot retail center in Northern California’s Marin County from Inland Western Retail Real Estate Trust, Inc. for $65 million.
Built in 1978, the 16-acre shopping center sits on the western edge of the San Francisco Bay and is adjacent to the Larkspur ferry terminal, which is linked to the property by an elevated pedestrian walkway. The centerpiece of the property is a collection of five one- and two-story multi-tenant buildings that encircle a large public cobblestone courtyard. The property also has several pad buildings including a 50,000-square-foot Bed, Bath and Beyond, with parking for nearly 1,000 cars. Larkspur Landing is 70 percent occupied with a tenant mix that includes a variety of community-serving retail, restaurants, personal services, and shops.
J.S. Rosenfield & Co., whose portfolio includes retail and entertainment properties throughout Southern California, acquired the property with plans to reposition the center as a “country mart,” an intimate non-anchored, open-air, public environment with services, shops, boutiques, and food purveyors.
“The country mart concept was born in California and its success can be seen in projects throughout the state including our Brentwood Country Mart in West Los Angeles,” says J.S. Rosenfield & Co. principal James Rosenfield. The company’s portfolio also includes Waterworks on Montana Avenue and Montana’s Aero Theatre, which won the Santa Monica Conservancy’s Annual Preservation Award in 2005.
“The key to the success of the country mart concept is its welcoming environment with its exceptional public spaces, essential local services, restaurants, and extraordinary boutique shops. But what sets the country mart apart from other retail concepts is the architecture that takes into consideration the human scale, something that has been largely forgotten in the monumental focus of today’s malls and large retail centers,” Rosenfield says.
Rosenfield has engaged Baldauf Catton Von Eckartsberg Architects of San Francisco, whose credits include the renovation of the historic Ferry Building in San Francisco, to create a new sustainable design for the property. In addition to renovating facades and upgrading the existing buildings, plans include the removal of the existing hardscape in the center of the property and replacing it with lushly landscaped picnic and outdoor eating areas and a children’s playground. In addition, the new country mart will feature several public gardens where restaurant tenants can grow and harvest their own fruits and vegetables.
“We will make a concerted effort to attract the Bay Area’s finest food purveyors as well as the type of boutique shops normally found on great retail streets such as Fillmore Street in San Francisco, Montana Avenue in Santa Monica, or Madison Avenue in New York to complement the existing personal services at Larkspur Landing,”adds Rosenfield. Wilson, Meany, Sullivan, developer of the Ferry Building, will oversee leasing and property management.
“Our goal is to work with the City of Larkspur to create one of the most compelling public spaces in Marin County,” concludes Rosenfield.
James Rosenfield, principal of J.S. Rosenfield, and Shane Garrison, chief investment officer of Inland Western each represented their respective companies in the off-market transaction.
Founded in 1987, J.S. Rosenfield & Co. restores and renovates existing shopping environments and prides itself on attracting exceptional and unique merchants to benefit the communities it serves. Inland Western Retail Real Estate Trust, Inc. is a self-managed real estate investment trust focused on the acquisition, development and management of retail properties.