APPLE VALLEY — One of the largest power centers in the Victor Valley, Jess Ranch Marketplace will include Best Buy as an anchor tenant for the project. The national electronics chain earlier this year signed a lease with Malcolm Riley and Associates, the developer of Jess Ranch Marketplace. Malcolm Riley expects to break ground in early 2008 on phase three of the 700,000-square-foot shopping center.
In addition to Best Buy, the developer is in negotiations with Bed, Bath & Beyond as another anchor tenant, as well as Cinemark Theaters, which is planning to build a 12-screen theater with stadium seating and state-of-the-art amenities. Construction is already under way on phase two of the project at Bear Valley and Apple Valley roads, featuring Mervyn’s department store, Rite Aid, Applebee’s and FedEx/Kinkos, among other confirmed tenants. “Anticipated completion of phase two, which is 95 percent pre-leased, is expected in the fall of 2007,” said Erik Westedt, a senior associate and retail specialist with CB Richard Ellis in Ontario, a commercial real estate broker for Jess Ranch Marketplace.
One of the maxims of retail development is that the market follows in the wake of new rooftops, and as the residential housing market cools, retail demand could soften. Building permits for new single-family homes in the Inland Empire fell by 52 percent from April 2006 compared to the same period this year. Nevertheless, the developer continues to report enthusiasm among prospective tenants at Jess Ranch, where thousands of news homes have either been proposed or recently built within a three-mile radius of the site. “The pre-leasing on phases two and three has been nothing less than spectacular,” said Cameron Riley, project manager of Jess Ranch Marketplace. “The demand is just unbelievable, not only for this shopping center but also for the Town of Apple Valley and the Victor Valley in general,” he said.