Orange County’s Little Saigon district is about to get bigger.
Irvine, California-based contractor R.D. Olson broke ground on a $27 million retail and dining project in Westminster, California, on July 25, according to a company news release shared with Construction Dive. The area is home to the nation’s largest Vietnamese-American population.
The kickoff of Bolsa Row Terrace, a 26,211-square-foot retail and dining destination, marks the second phase of a 6-acre mixed-used development for developer IP Westminster, following the September 2022 completion of the adjacent 200-unit Bolsa Row Apartments.
Inspired by French colonial architecture of pre-war Vietnam, the two-story retail component’s signature element will be the exterior façade’s clock tower and traditional mansard roof as an homage to Vietnam’s iconic Bến Thành Market. Arches, ironwork, glass storefronts and an atrium with clear rooftop paneling are part of the new construction.
The addition will also feature a landscaped courtyard with al fresco bistro seating, and was designed to accommodate community celebrations, concerts and night markets. Future plans at the site include the Wyndham Grand Bolsa Row Hotel.
For Bolsa Row Terrace, R.D. Olson is working with Costa Mesa, California-based Robinson Hill Architecture and Newport Beach, California-based MJS Landscape Architecture, with project management by San Diego-based Avanti Development Partners.
The retail start and ambitions for a new hotel buck the trend of slower activity in those sectors.
According to the Dodge Construction Network’s midyear outlook, square footage for retail and hotel builds are slated to fall this year and have made an anemic recovery since the beginning of the pandemic. And they’ve been dragging down the broader commercial sector.
Nevertheless, R.D. Olson has been bucking that trend. It recently kicked off construction of a $60 million Marriott and a $65 million Hilton hotel, both in California, and counts established retail destinations in its portfolio.
Construction is slated for completion in early 2024.