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Riverside Plaza mall sold for $85 million; upgrades are planned

Outdoor mall Riverside Plaza has sold for nearly $85 million to shopping center landlord Vestar, which plans to upgrade the property and bring in some new tenants.

Vestar and financial partner UBS Global Asset Management bought the 475,000-square-foot retail center from the Westminster Funds, an Illinois real estate investment advisor. The mall, located in Riverside near the 91 Freeway, is anchored by Vons, Trader Joe’s, CVS Pharmacy and Regal Cinemas.

Phoenix-based Vestar plans to spend $10 million on improvements to the mall, President Rick Kuhle said. The changes are intended to improve pedestrian areas with such additions as fountains, seating and landscaping.

Work is set to begin in February and be completed a year from now, he said. New tenants should include two large clothing retailers and additional restaurants.

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Improving economic conditions in the Inland Empire were not the only factor in Vestar’s decision to buy and improve the mall, Kuhle said.

“The market is turning, in our opinion, but even if it wasn’t we would probably still do it,” he said. “Sales there will only increase because of what we’re doing."

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