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Loan keeps mall expansion moving

Tenants for new buildings to be announced soon


by: TIMES PHOTO: JAIME VALDEZ - Contractors lay the groundwork for a two-building expansion project at the Cedar Hills Crossing shopping center. The $11 million, 24,000-square-foot expansion will include Seattle-based MOD Pizza's first Oregon location as well as two other tenants property owner C.E. John Company plans to announce in the coming months. The project could be completed by this fall. With an $11 million loan through U.S. Bank it just announced, the C.E. John Company is moving full steam ahead on an expansion of the Cedar Hills Crossing shopping center, with two buildings housing three new tenants planned to be ready by this fall.

Basic construction on the 24,000-square-foot expansion has begun at the center located at 3205 S.W. Cedar Hills Blvd., between Walker and Jenkins roads. Aside from Seattle-based MOD Pizza, which will occupy 2,850 square feet of space for its first Oregon location, the tenants to occupy the space have yet to be announced by C.E. John, the Vancouver, Wash.-based real estate company that started the complex as Beaverton Mall in the 1960s.

“There are a couple of deals in the works,” said Scott Lindgren, C.E. John’s senior vice president. “We don’t know when we’ll be ready to announce it. It has to work for our tenants to announce new store openings. We have to be cognizant of their needs as well.”

The two buildings will be about 8,500 square feet and 15,000 square feet, with one of the two unannounced tenants to consume nearly a 3,600-square-foot space.

The $11 million loan infusion, Lindgren noted, is a good sign for the company, Cedar Hills Crossing and the larger retail economy in general.

“I think it’s good news. It’s a good representation of the Cedar Hills Crossing and the success we’ve had out there,” he said. “It’s a good sign of the economy and U.S. Bank that lenders are wanting to participate in strong retail projects.”

Ann Young, regional manager for U.S. Bank Commercial Real Estate in Portland, also spoke enthusiastically of the collaboration with C.E. John.

“We are pleased to provide financing for C.E. John’s expansion of Cedar Hills Crossing,” she said. “Projects like this are another sign of the local economy gaining momentum as consumer confidence improves.”

Formed in 1947, C.E. John was recognized earlier this month by Beaverton Mayor Denny Doyle as one of three Beaverton 4 Business award recipients.

Site and foundation work under way for the two single-story buildings won’t affect hours or operations at nearby businesses, which include Life Way, Baja Fresh Mexican Grill, Office Depot and a U.S. Bank branch. The new structures will be part of Cedar Hills Crossing II, an extension of the original complex that’s anchored by New Seasons Market and Best Buy.

“We branded it (similar to) Cedar Hills Crossing, so people will understand what type of place it is. That this is a continuation of that.”

The original Cedar Hills Crossing was last augmented in 2010, when stores including Sports Authority, Panera Bread and Chase Bank joined the complex.

“We had some good-sized projects, even in the economic downturn,” Lindgren said.

The new expansion project will include new parking areas in space formerly occupied by office buildings.

“We’re redoing portions of the existing parking areas to accommodate the new (structures),” he said. “We’re renovating some of the (older) buildings and making improvements. We’ll see a redevelopment of the buildings over time.”

Although MOD Pizza, specializing in high-quality thin-crust, artisan-style pizza delivered “super fast,” according to a company news release, announced its movement to Cedar Hills first, Lindgren doesn’t guarantee it will be the first to open as the buildings become ready by September or October.

“It will depend on the individual tenants,” he said, noting the elements have been rather cooperative so far this construction season. “The weather has been very helpful, which is nice.”

There are no immediate plans regarding the former Borders bookstore space, the largest gap in the mostly occupied plaza.

“That will be part of a future phase,” he said. “We’re constantly looking to upgrade and expand, to improve the look, feel and quality of the complex — and continue to provide a great dining, shopping and entertainment experience.”