Santa Monica Lookout
Santa Monica Place Celebrates Prestigious International Design and Sustainability Awards
By Jason Islas
October 10, 2013 -- At a small gathering in a community room Wednesday, Santa Monica Place celebrated being among the handful of malls that have received the International Council of Shopping Centers' highest honor.
Wednesday's celebration commemorated the last two years, during which the newly-redesigned Santa Monica Place has taken home three awards from the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC), including the highly-competitive “Best-of-the-Best” Vision Innovation Value Achievement (VIVA) award.
“It's like World Cup Soccer,” said ICSC Trustee Gordon “Skip” Greeby, addressing a crowd of architects and business leaders who had sheltered in the community room on the third floor of the Santa Monica Place to avoid the afternoon rain.
Greeby, who is also president of The Greeby Companies, offered the analogy to explain the lengthy and competitive process the Macerich-owned Santa Monica Place had to go through in order to take home the VIVA Award in May.
“It's a great honor for me to recognize Santa Monica Place,” said Greeby, who sat on the jury that selected the shopping center as a VIVA finalist.
Macerich CEO Art Coppola said, “The boldest thing we did here is we shut down a successful shopping center.”
After a lengthy public process, during which Macerich's original plans -- calling for a 10-acres of condos, office space and retail -- were scuttled, Venice-based architects The Jerde Partnership designed the current outdoor mall, which opened in 2010.
The design, which was built in the same footprint as the old mall, has received a number of accolades since then, including ICSC Golden Awards for U.S. design & development and for sustainability.
The design received the U.S. Green Building Council's highest designation for sustainability, LEED Gold.
Randy Brant, executive vice president of Macerich said that all the accolades belie the design's simple concept, which he called the “result of common sense.”
“That's the attraction,” Brant said, referring to the outdoor experience of the Promenade, adding that it was natural to extend that to the Santa Monica Place.
Coppola said that, for Macerich, Santa Monica Place was just the start. “We'll do it again,” he promised.
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