One thing architect Paul Wheeler wants Claremont residents to know is the Peppertree Square Shopping Center gets its facelift.
Despite the fence around the main parking lot of the site at Indian Hill Boulevard and Arrow Highway, the center’s stores remain open for business and need customers to keep patronizing them during construction, said Wheeler, of the Claremont firm Wheeler & Wheeler Architects.
“Everybody has wanted this center to be redone,” he said. “Now it is being redone, but we need people to support it.”
Wheeler said plans to revamp the shopping center began more than four years ago. Four months ago, an old warehouse building that partially blocked the view of Peppertree Square was torn down. The owner has invested $2 million into the upgrades, he said.
On Feb. 12, Claremont issued grading and building permits for the remodel, which includes improvements in lighting, landscaping, and the parking areas, according to the city’s website.
The renovations, expected to take about six months, include updated storefront façades designed by Wheeler & Wheeler, drought tolerant landscaping, an accessible parking lot, and new signage. During construction, parking will be available in lots at the north rear and on the south end of the center.
“We know it’s an inconvenience,” said Nick Quackenbos of Quackenbos-Bell Commercial Real Estate of getting around the construction. “We are doing everything we can to minimize the inconvenience.”
Quackenbos is tasked with finding regional and national tenants to lease space in the center, which is around 50,000 square feet. Spaces range from the larger 10,000 to 20,000 square feet plots to the smaller 1,200 to 2,500 square feet slots. A built-to-suit pad also is available along Arrow Highway. The center is about 50 percent leased, he said.
Fresh & Easy was considering locating at the center but opted not to move forward after the company started pulling back on planned locations, he said.
Wheeler said, during construction, patrons of the shopping center could turn their trip into entertainment.
“Enjoy the floor show,” he said. “Come down, have lunch, and watch the bulldozers.”