BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — The former East Hills Mall is now under new ownership.
Stephen Zimmerman of ZDI, Inc. and Michael Heslov, a private investor and developer, are joining together to acquire the former mall in northeast Bakersfield. The partners plan to demolish the existing structures soon to make room for new construction.
Retail Equities, LLC out of Modesto was the seller.
“We are extremely impressed with the diverse economy in the Bakersfield market and the quality of growth and development in the city,” Zimmerman said. “This property is extremely well located and is ideally suited for new commercial and perhaps mixed-use development.”
Efforts to redevelop the East Hills Mall have been bumpy for the past several years. Bakersfield-based City Lights, LLC and MarkChris Investments, LLC had purchased the property a few years ago with plans to replace the existing mall with a new open-air shopping center.
However, in 2019, the investors were forced to sell the property back to its original owners, Save Mart Companies Inc., for $10 after defaulting on a $7.5 million loan for the project.