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Mall Takes Another Transformative Step

By Jorge Casuso

November 7 – Santa Monica Place took another major step in its “ultra-hip” makeover by luring a slate of high-profile specialty retailers and chef-driven restaurants, Macerich officials announced this week.

The eight new retail stores and restaurants totaling more than 30,000 square feet will join the two anchor department stores, Nordstrom and Bloomingdale’s, when the 30-year-old indoor mall is literally turned inside out.

The two restaurants will be perched on a roof-top dining deck overlooking the Pacific, while the stores will surround an open air courtyard that directly connects to the thriving Third Street Promenade.

“We’re well on our way to creating an ultra-hip, dynamic retail and dining destination that really fits with the unique Santa Monica shopper, who has a laid-back lifestyle but appreciates style and high fashion,” said Ron Bondy, senior vice president in charge of leasing for Macerich.

“These retailers and restaurants truly complement Bloomingdale’s SoHo concept, which will be the first store of its kind to open outside Manhattan,” Bondy said.

Rendering of center court (Image courtesy of Macerich)

Moving into the mall, which likely will open in the spring of 2010, will be Kitson, the L.A.-based fashion retailer that is an established celebrity favorite; Coach, a leading American creator of fine accessories and gifts, and BCBG Max Azria, the popular contemporary women’s clothing and accessories brand, according to Macerich officials.

Also moving into the 550,000-square-foot mall will be Joe’s Jeans, known for its trend-setting denim; True Religion, the premium denim, sportswear and accessories brand, and Lacoste, the iconic French sportswear brand, Macerich officials said.

The two restaurants are XINO Restaurant+Lounge, a sophisticated, modern take on classic Chinese cuisine created by noted chef Chris Yeo, and Ozumo, a highly acclaimed San Francisco concept offering contemporary Japanese fare in a casually elegant setting.

“They’re unique restaurants to Southern California,” said Randy Brant, Macerich’s vice president in charge of development. “We’re trying to bring the best restaurants into the city. That third-floor dining deck is going to be a high-energy place.”

The eight unique eateries Macerich hopes to draw will serve as a magnate to draw people from the street up,” said Brant, noting that there will be valet service and elevators to whisk diners directly up.

In addition to the high-end eateries, there will be a food court serving up simpler fare.

“We have employees and people who can’t afford the sit-down restaurants,” Brant said.

During the remodel, only Macy’s will stay open, along with the mall’s two public parking structures, which will get a makeover that includes adding stores on the ground floor facing Broadway and parking attendants, under a plan approved by the City Council in March.

Macy's will close in February 2009, paving the way for the transformation of the 122,000-square-foot department store into a brand-new Bloomingdale's, which is scheduled to open in 2010, Macerich officials said. ("Bloomingdale’s Seen as Perfect Fit for New Santa Monica Place," September 11, 2008)





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