Developer will buy Thousand Oaks shopping center if city council approves the complex


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Billionaire developer Rick Caruso will buy the Lakes Mall in downtown Thousand Oaks from the city if city council approves a seven-story apartment complex he wants to build behind him.

The 165-unit development would be the tallest residential complex in the city. Based on community feedback, Caruso agreed to consider lowering its height by one story, from 75 feet to 60 feet.

As part of the purchase agreement, which must be approved by city council, Caruso will buy the city’s still underperforming lakes for $ 2 million, City Manager Drew Powers said on Wednesday evening. The city has rented the property from Caruso since 2004, but has not made any money.

Indeed, under the deal, Caruso can lease the 7.5-acre property for free in years it doesn’t make at least 12%, mostly through renters from tenants, Thousand’s CFO said Thursday. Oaks, Jaimie Boscarino.

And he never made that level back, she said. Thus, the city has never been paid rent.

The city is locked in the lease for at least 36 years. But the lease contains a provision that allows Caruso to buy the property from the city, Boscarino said.

In addition to the $ 2 million, as part of the deal, Caruso will give the city a total of $ 10 to 13 million over 37 years to benefit the community, Powers said. The amount the city will receive in annual payments will be based on the number of units in the proposed apartment complex, he said.

If the 165 units are built, the payouts would be around $ 13 million, Boscarino said.

The funds would go to anything city council decides, such as affordable housing, capital projects and more, Powers said.

The deal is conditional on the residential complex being approved by city council, Powers said.

If the council does not give the green light to the project, the existing lease will remain, he said. The board is expected to consider the matter on November 30.

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Powers said that “while not perfect, the proposed package at least gives city council more lucrative and balanced conditions to weigh with the accompanying development demand.”

Chris Robertson, vice president of planning, government and community relations for Caruso, said in a statement Thursday that he believes the deal “balances the city’s various priorities in the best possible way without compromising the feasibility of project.

“In addition to the substantial community benefit package we have negotiated, the addition of housing will not only improve the success of The Lakes retailers and restaurants, but also bring us closer to the thriving and vibrant downtown of Thousand Oaks. that has always been envisioned, “she said.

Developer is considering height reduction

The Thousand Oaks Planning Commission will review the proposed apartment complex on Monday evening. He is expected to make a recommendation on the development package, which includes the purchase contract, for the November 30 city council meeting, Powers said.

The board will have the final say on the project and the purchase contract.

A staff report for the commission hearing on the proposed seven-story complex indicates that Caruso is ready to lower its height by one story.

“During the review period and based on community feedback, the applicant has stated that they are prepared to remove a floor from the building, which would reduce the height of the residential building from the proposed maximum of 75 feet to 65 feet, ”the report said.

“If the Planning Commission requests the removal of a storey and agrees to make a recommendation for approval to City Council, staff suggest that any motion include specific wording recommending the height and reduction of the storey and that the applicant is preparing revised building elevation plans for consideration by the City Council, ”the report said.

Caruso spokeswoman Jessica Wong said Thursday that while lowering the height of the complex would add economic pressure to the project, the developer is ready to consider it based on community concerns.

“Our approach to this project, as with all of our projects, has been community driven,” she said. “We want to make sure it meets the needs of our neighbors in Thousand Oaks.”

Monday’s Planning Commission meeting begins at 6 p.m. at City Hall, 2100 Thousand Oaks Boulevard. Residents can attend in person, watch on TV (Frontier Channel 3 or Spectrum Channel 10) or watch online at

Mike Harris covers the county towns of Moorpark, Simi Valley and Thousand Oaks, as well as transportation throughout the county. You can contact him at [email protected] or 805-437-0323.

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