Friedman's shifts focus to Target-anchored Petaluma center

PETALUMA -- Santa Rosa-based Friedman's Home Improvement today said it has signed a letter of intent to lease space for a store in the 33-acre planned Regency Centers mixed-use development in Petaluma known as the Kenilworth project and East Washington Place.

Friedman's wants to open an 80,000-square-foot store with a 20,000-square-foot garden center and drive-through lumber yard in the southern anchor-tenant position of the shopping center in August 2011.

Friedman's had considered six Petaluma sites before narrowing the search to East Washington Place and Riverfront, a mixed-use project led by Reno-based Basin Street Properties. In March the 63-year-old home-improvement retailer was announced as a venture partner in the Riverfront project.

However, being part of a regional shopping center persuaded Friedman's to shift its focus to East Washington Place, according to David Proctor, chief operating officer and chief financial officer. Plans for the center call for 378,000 square feet of retail and office space.

"What was persuasive was retail adjacency," he said.

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