Triangle Square is sold

This corrects an earlier version.

Triangle Square is under new ownership.

The man who recently bought the Sutra Restaurant and Nightclub at Triangle Square said Tuesday that he has closed escrow to buy the 200,000-square-foot property bounded by 19th Street and Newport and Harbor boulevards for an undisclosed sum.

Richard Kelly, Sutra’s owner, said he has big plans to bring the struggling dining and retail center back to life.

“The property has huge potential, and I felt that it needed somebody who could turn this property into something spectacular,” Kelly said. “The property is at the ninth busiest intersection in North America. More than 150,000 cars are passing by each day.”

Kelly would not disclose how much he paid.

“What is important is that I have a plan to redevelop the property” he said. “And I’m going to actively and aggressively redevelop the property and it will have shops, restaurants and other tenants that people will appreciate having here in Costa Mesa and you’ll see significant changes very soon.”

Though busy in the 1990s, one business after another has closed its doors in recent years.

Chronic Cantina, a taco bar doing business there, was to close down for good Tuesday night.

“They decided to move because their venue doesn’t really fit into our redevelopment plan,” said Kelly, the owner of Kelly Holdings LLC, a private equity and development investment firm. “We’re going for different looks, different types of tenants.”

Dan Biello, co-founder of the popular taco bar, said he would love to stay at Triangle Square but understands that Kelly’s vision requires a more upscale restaurant.

“We still might be moving the unit into Triangle Square,” Biello said. “We’re working on a new concept together, more higher-end menu and not so much a bar. We lost the restaurant crowd, and we want to get back to the original concept.”

Kelly was involved with the development of the Ivy Hotel in San Diego.

His sister, Louise Kelly, was the project manager and will also manage the Triangle Square project, he said.

Redevelopment plans are underway and are set to be complete in the next 12 to 18 months, Kelly said.

Though it will be different, he said, the name of the center, which is indeed shaped like a triangle, will likely remain.


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