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Pacific City project gets new developer

Bella Terra owners announce purchase land along Pacific Coast Highway.

December 04, 2012|By Andrew Shortall
  • A rendering of the proposed Pacific City project in downtown Huntington Beach. DJM Capital Partners bought into the project, which plans to bring an outdoor shopping center, hotel and a condominium to the 31-acre site.
A rendering of the proposed Pacific City project in downtown… (Karen Diehl )

A developer with local ties will try to make a long-delayed project — which eventually would bring condominiums, businesses and a hotel to downtown Huntington Beach — a reality.

DJM Capital Partners announced in a press release last week that it purchased about 11 acres of the vacant 31-acre site designated for the Pacific City project. It will be the fourth developer to become involved in the project in the last eight years.

Pacific City seeks to bring 516 residential units, shops, restaurants and an eight-story hotel to the site downtown on Pacific Coast Highway between First and Huntington streets. Crescent Heights, a Florida-based development company, sold the land to Santa Barbara-based DJM and owns the remaining 20 acres.

DJM plans to turn 6.5 acres of the land into an outdoor shopping center and 4 acres into an eight-story hotel.

DJM Development Partners President Lindsay Parton said the company hopes to submit its redesign to the center and hotel for approval in January and open in 2015.

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"We've been here and watching that project over the past seven or eight years, and we were very interested, seeing the potential we thought we could bring to that property," Parton said.

Makar Properties originally proposed Pacific City to the Huntington Beach City Council, which approved it in 2004. Makar passed the development onto Farallon Capital Management, which sold it to Crescent Heights in Sept. 2011.

Parton said DJM's redesigns will only need to be approved by City Planning Manager Jane James since the general plan has been approved by the council.

James and Crescent Heights spokesman Steve Afriat weren't immediately available for comment.

DJM was active in the process of purchasing Pacific City when it became available last year. Crescent City gave DJM the chance to get involved in the project after the city "advocated" for the company, which already has a presence in Huntington Beach as owners of Bella Terra, Parton said.

"We feel we have been good to them, and they've been good to us," Parton said of the city. "We have had great success [with Bella Terra] and we just really enjoy the working relationship we have with the city. The city was a big advocate for us in being an owner of Pacific City. They felt we were a logical owner."

While the project has been in the planning stages for eight years, Parton thinks DJM can help move the process along with the city's backing and a few key changes to the proposal.

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