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Five Lagunas Urban Village Breaks Ground in Laguna Hills

San Francisco-based Merlone Geier Partners broke ground on Five Lagunas, an 870,000-square-foot urban village at the former Laguna Hills Mall. The developer seeks to create the South Orange County master-planned community’s first “downtown experience,” with 68 acres of retail, dining, entertainment and residential.

Portions of the indoor mall will be revamped and incorporated into a new outdoor center, named after the five surrounding Laguna communities. The center will include roughly 60 retailers, a 14-screen luxury movie theater, chef-driven restaurants, and a one-acre park for live music and events. Three planned residential buildings total 350 multifamily units.

P+R Architects’ Ronald E. Bernhardt, AIA, who is designing the project, says once Merlone Geier acquired the Sears lease, it “opened the potential to what is now a true urban village with a park amenity, restaurants and three entitled residential parcels.” C.W. Driver will serve as the  general contractor for the retail, dining and entertainment portions of the project.

For comments, questions or concerns, please contact Dennis Kaiser


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About Dennis Kaiser

Dennis Kaiser is Vice President of Content and Public Relations for Connect Commercial Real Estate. Dennis is a communications leader with more than 30 years of experience including as a journalist and in corporate and agency marketing communications roles. He is responsible for Connect’s client content operations and is involved in a range of initiatives ranging from content strategy, message development, copywriting, media relations, social media and content marketing services. In his most recent corporate communications roles, he led a regional public relations effort across Southern California for CBRE, played a key marketing role on JLL’s national retail team, and was responsible for directing the global public relations effort at ValleyCrest, the nation’s largest commercial landscape services company. In addition to his vast commercial real estate experience, Dennis has worked on communications and launch strategies for a number of residential projects such as Disney’s Celebration in Florida, Ritter Ranch in Palmdale California (7,200 homes, 22,000 acres), WaterColor in Florida and PremierGarage in Phoenix. Dennis’s agency background included firms such as Idea Hall and Macy + Associates. He has earned an outstanding reputation with organization leaders as a trusted advisor, strategic program implementer, consensus builder and exceptional collaborator. Dennis has developed and managed national communications programs for Fortune 500 companies to start-ups, both public and private. He’s successfully worked with journalists across the globe representing clients involved in major-breaking news stories, product launches, media tours, and company news announcements. Dennis has been involved in a host of charitable and community organizations including the American Cancer Society, Easter Seals, BoyScouts, Chrysalis Foundation, Freedom For Life, HOLA, L.A.’s BEST, Reach Out and Read, Super Bowl Host Committee, and Thunderbirds Charities.

  • ◦Development