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Santa Monica Place to Open in August 2010


By Jorge Casuso

May 7 – The center plaza may still have a big pile of dirt and a bin of wood debris, but Macerich officials are confident the oval-shaped space will be studded with palms and bustling with visitors when Santa Monica Place opens its doors in 15 months after a major remodel.

While most developers are reluctant to make their construction schedule public, Macerich -- which has been holding periodic tours of the site -- has picked the exact date when the struggling indoor mall will hold its grand opening.

Open Air Plaza East View (Images courtesy of Macerich)

On August 6, 2010, the mall designed by renowned architect Frank Gehry will be literally turned inside out, as shoppers enjoy an open sky and diners take in a sweeping view of the Pacific when they visit a slew of high-end stores and restaurants that promise to rival Beverly Hills’.

Three weeks later, Nordstrom will hold a grand opening of its own, joining Bloomingdale’s as the other anchor store in the quarter-century-old mall.

“We launched construction just over a year ago to begin transforming Santa Monica Place from an enclosed, old-style mall into a modern, open-air center with fresh retail offerings and a spectacular rooftop Dining Deck with views of the ocean,” said Randy Brant, Macerich’s executive vice president of real estate.

“August in Santa Monica is prime time for tourists, who, along with affluent local residents and the vibrant local business community, are an important target shopper base for the new Santa Monica Place,” Brant said.

Plaza West View

In addition to Bloomingdale’s and Nordstrom, retailers signed on for the project include Arthur, BCBGMAXAZRIA, Coach, Ed Hardy, Ilori, Joe’s Jeans, Love Culture, Kitson, Michael Brandon, R.O.C. Republic of Couture, Shuz and True Religion, as well as Artevo, a technology-driven art gallery.

Restaurants that will open on the third-floor dining deck include two concepts from nationally recognized restaurateur Richard Sandoval, Zengo and La Sandia, plus Pizza Antica, Ozumo Sushi, and XINO Restaurant + Lounge.

The major remodel will open up the monolithic 550,000-square-foot structure by increasing available open space and connect it to neighboring streets with pedestrian walkways.

Third-floor Dining Deck

The centerpiece of the new design is a round open-air plaza with wide passageways that connect the mall to the Promenade to the north and the Civic Center to the south.

A key component will be moving the food court, which was at the Promenade entrance, from the ground level to a third-floor sundeck, where tables under the shade of umbrellas will provide ocean views between the stores.





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