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Santa Monica Place Set to Reopen:

Santa Monica Place (SMP) which has been going through remodeling since April of 2008, is now scheduled to reopen on August 6, 2010.

The opening is scheduled to coincide with the opening of the mall’s new Bloomingdale’s which will be in the site that formally housed Macy’s. The mall’s other new anchor store, Nordstrom’s will open its doors on August 27, 2010. Nordstrom’s will be located in the area that used to be Robinson’s-May.

Ann Singleton, their Vice-President of Leasing for Macerich, told the Mirror “When the mall is completed it will contain 80-100 retailers and 16 dining operations.” In addition, those retailers that are leasing spaces which are visible from the street have to go through a design review process with the City of Santa Monica’s Architectural Review Board (ARB). This process is to help ensure that these retailers design their spaces to help enhance the mall’s pedestrian orientation. Macerich intends to announce additional retailers who will be leasing space once they have completed the ARB process. Thus far, Macerich has announced 13 retailers and five restaurants that will become part of the new mall.

Bob Abtaker, Macerich’s Vice President of Development, stated that some of the mall’s tenants would begin moving into their spaces later this year. Restaurants especially need more time to customize their areas. He also mentioned that if a business decides to make changes to a space already approved by the ARB they will have to go back to them if they decide to make significant changes to their original design.

Singleton also stressed that Macerich has had a very positive response from businesses who wish to lease space at the mall despite the recession because the mall is located in a “one of a kind location, two blocks from the beach, because Bloomingdale’s and Nordstrom’s will be the mall’s anchor stores, and because of the mall’s dining deck.”

The redeveloped mall will contain 550,000 square feet of leasable space distributed on three levels. Half of that space will be occupied by the anchor stores.

Macerich officials noted during the City’s Planning Commission’s review of the project that the remodel “reflects the values heard from the public.” These values were “build something of reasonable scale, create a better connection with the Third Street Promenade, include open-air views and street retail elements, develop an environmentally sound project, pay attention to traffic and parking and make retail the primary use of SMP.” Other parameters taken into account in designing the remodel were retaining the parking decks and the area housing Macy’s and that economically, the project “pencils out.”

When asked about what opening events Macerich has planned for the SMP’s reopening Macerich’s Marketing Manager Ashley Walkley responded that the “opening events are in the works.”

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