RICHMOND — Hilltop Plaza, a Richmond retail center, has been bought by a minority-owned real estate firm in a deal that tops $35 million and is poised to bring new tenants to the East Bay site.

Primestor Development has paid $36.5 million to buy Hilltop Plaza, a retail center whose primary merchants include Ross Dress for Less, City Sports Club, dd’s Discounts, and a Century Theatres movie complex.

“Hilltop Plaza matches our criteria and goals for redeveloping centers tailored to the communities they serve,” said Alan Sneider, Primstor’s vice president of acquisitions. “This is a great project with which to expand our portfolio.”

The new owner hopes to revamp the retail center and upgrade its ability to serve the Richmond community. The 59-acre center is located at 3190-4251 Klose Way in Richmond near the interchange of Interstate 80 and Richmond Parkway.

“Hilltop Plaza represents the opportunity to acquire a strategic infill project that aligns with our investment strategy of empowering communities through the acquisition and management of institutional quality real estate,” said Lonnie Vidaurri, chief investment officer with Primestor Development.

JLL commercial real estate brokers Geoff Tranchina, Eric Kathrein, Gleb Lvovich, and Warren McClean, helped to arrange the property purchase.

“Primestor has a 30-year track record of success fostering local economic development in urban, underserved minority communities,” the company states on its website. Primestor is based in the Los Angeles County municipality of Culver City.

Hilltop Plaza, which totals 245,900 square feet, is currently 86% occupied.

“The project is characterized by high barriers to entry” and “a rapidly expanding minority population,” Vidaurri said.

Primestor is already pursuing additional merchants to increase the retail center’s occupancy.

“We are actively negotiating with several prospective tenants that would be excellent additions to the tenant mix and bring attractive offerings to the local community,” said Rhiana Lindsey, Primestor’s director of leasing.