As Retail Continues to Struggle, Danville’s Blackhawk Plaza Trades for $38.3MM

By Meghan Hall

One of the East Bay’s most well-known shopping centers has traded hands in a transaction that closed in April. According to multiple news outlets, Blackhawk plaza was purchased by Newport, Calif.-based Ramanujan Group from Blackhawk Central LLC, affiliated with CenterCal Properties, for $38.3 million, or about $187 per square foot.

Located at 3389 Blackhawk Plaza Circle, the upscale mall is home to retailers such as Kiki Brows, Draeger’s Markets, Francesca’s and Club Champion. The complex sits across the street from another center, anchored by a Safeway, as well as several chain eateries such as Baja Fresh and McDonalds. The surrounding area is largely residential.

CenterCal Properties initially purchased the 205,000 square foot property in 2005 and subsequently spent around $50 million in repositioning the asset through the updating of the mall’s exterior. A play structure, sculptures and outdoor seating was added.

Retail continued to struggle throughout the second quarter as shelter in place orders impacted indoor activities, and deal volume generally slowed. According to a second quarter Kidder Mathews report—the most recent available—the largest retail transaction during the quarter was the sale of the Del Norte Marketplace. Located in the Richmond submarket, the 64,270 square foot asset traded for $22.5 million, or $350 per square foot, to Jewell Capital. The next largest transaction was for a 38,625 square foot retail center on Lynch Way in Hayward, which sold for just $7.25 million, or about $187 per square foot. Tomtex Investment Corp. sold the asset to Video Only, Inc. As the quarter ended, vacancy and employment increased, and the average sales and price per square foot dipped more than ten percent, showing the  pandemic’s immediate impact on the market.

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