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Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza Initiates $30 Million Upgrade in Conjunction with New Major Tenant Announcements

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LOS ANGELES--(BUSINESS WIRE)--

Plans are moving ahead for an immediate $30 million upgrade for Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza and the addition of new movie theaters and several restaurants to the existing mall. The plans call for a vibrant, brand-new interior design program, featuring a dining terrace and live entertainment performance area, as well as extensive exterior building, site and landscape improvements throughout the 43-acre property. The renovation will be completed before the 2011 holiday season.

Omniplan and RAW International are collaborating on the design for the substantial renovation, with Los Angeles-based Wolf Group providing construction management services for the project. Omniplan has worked on several large mall upgrades in Southern California, including the Westfield – Culver City Shopping Mall and The Oaks Shopping Center in Thousand Oaks.

As part of the immediate investment, the current movie theaters will be transformed into a modern multiplex featuring state-of-the-art amenities, digital technology and 3-D screens. Restaurateur Brad Johnson, who opened the Roxbury, Georgia and The Sunset Room in Los Angeles, is opening a signature restaurant adjacent to the Debbie Allan Dance Academy. Other new restaurant and tenant announcements are expected in coming weeks.

The initial renovation also includes much-needed new amenities for the community, including a children’s play area, seating areas, a new community room and concierge services with a broader range of services. Other improvements include new family restrooms, a new specialty kiosk and cart program and signage.

This investment, by owner Capri Urban Investors, is the first step in a long-term transformation of the property that has anchored the Crenshaw Corridor since the 1940s. The long-term plan is in the environmental review stages, with an anticipated approval by the City of Los Angeles by early 2011.

Capri Urban Investors, which purchased Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza in 2006, has continued to make substantial investments in the property since its purchase, but this renovation marks the most significant investment in over 25 years. “Our decision to move forward with this level of investment demonstrates our continued confidence in Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza and the purchasing power of this important Los Angeles community, and it sets a very solid foundation for the long-term vision for the property,” said Quintin E. Primo III, Chairman & CEO of Capri Capital Partners, LLC, the investment manager of Capri Urban Investors.

“We are committed to securing the future of this incredible asset in Los Angeles, and moving quickly to make these substantial improvements to Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza,” Primo said. “For that reason, we have called on real estate expert and long-time Angeleno Ken Lombard to strengthen the capabilities of our existing LA-based team. I am confident that Ken’s on-the-ground expertise will help expedite not just the initial investment program, but the larger entitlement effort as well.”

“This level of investment is significant and long overdue, and will propel the center toward achieving the Class-A status and a shopping experience that South Los Angeles residents deserve,” said Lombard, who joined Capri as a Partner and President of the Capri Urban Fund in 2009.

Prior to joining Capri, Lombard was President of Starbucks Entertainment. He has also served as President of Johnson Development Corporation, the firm Lombard started with Earvin “Magic” Johnson. In that role, Lombard developed many successful retail partnerships with organizations including Starbucks and Canyon-Johnson Urban Funds, and started a new venture with Sony Pictures Entertainment to create the Magic Johnson Theaters chain. Throughout his career, Lombard has been instrumental in bringing several new retailers to the Crenshaw District including TGI Friday’s, Starbucks and the Magic Johnson Theaters at Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza.

“This level of investment demonstrates an incredible amount of confidence in South Los Angeles,” said Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. “I look forward to seeing a significant revitalization of Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza that will jumpstart the creation of much-needed, quality jobs and continued investment in the Crenshaw District both now and into the future.”

“The plans to upgrade Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza represent a tremendous investment in the community at a time when it really counts,” said Councilmember Bernard Parks, “I am thrilled that the team is not only making an immediate investment to boost the mall to Class-A status, but also continuing to move forward with their long-term plans to transform the mall into a community center for the Crenshaw District.”

The team, which also includes Los Angeles-based Festival Companies, envisions a complete transformation of the 43-acre property, including a new residential neighborhood, a hotel and commercial office building situated within pedestrian friendly tree-lined sidewalks, and conveniently linked to the proposed Metro Rail public transit center on Crenshaw Boulevard.

“We look forward to putting a shovel in the ground this year and demonstrating the strength of our commitment to the community at a time when few are making these kinds of investments in the Crenshaw District,” Lombard said. “We are thrilled to make this sizeable investment at the mall, and to give shoppers more choices and better amenities. While separate from the larger entitlement plan, I believe these improvements will set the stage to transform Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza into a landmark retail destination for the Crenshaw community.”

About Capri Capital Partners, LLC

Capri Capital Partners, LLC is an institutional real estate investment advisory firm, investing and managing commercial real estate properties and portfolios since 1992. Capri offers a broad spectrum of equity and debt products to its customers through separate account and commingled fund vehicles. Diversified assets managed on behalf of its pension fund and other institutional clients totaled $3.6 billion in fair market value as of December 31, 2009. For more information, please call 312-573-5275 or visit the company’s website www.capricapital.com.

for Capri Capital Partners, LLC
Steve Sugerman, 310-689-7535

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