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Additions aim to transform Triangle Square

The Costa Mesa shopping center will be adding a 24 Hour Fitness Super Sport, which is part of an effort to revitalize the struggling area.

September 14, 2011|By Joseph Serna

"What most people don't realize, $72 million in 1992, it cost way more to build than what was financially viable in those days," said Lamm, a former deputy city manager. "The original lease rents couldn't even pay for the debt service. Costs went over what the developer thought. The original owner never made a profit."

The property was eventually sold at discount to Triangle Square Investments LLC, which recruited a Los Angeles-based marketing company to generate business in 2000. That effort didn't pan out, however, and Greenlaw Partners bought Triangle Square for an undisclosed amount in 2006.

Residents have said Triangle Square is a 200,000-square-foot ghost town, a failure that withers in the shadow of Costa Mesa's commercial jewels: South Coast Plaza and MetroPointe.

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Reports show Triangle Square was once projected to generate up to $1 million a year in taxes for the city. Triangle Square generated $147,000 in sales taxes last fiscal year — a $10,000 improvement from the year prior.

Greenlaw Partners is looking to invest close to $15 million to upgrade the property from the inside out, Lamm said.

"If you're going south of 19th Street, they're headed toward the coast," he said. "When you have a destination, and a commercial destination along the way, you'll pull people in."

joseph.serna@latimes.com

Twitter: @JosephSerna

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