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Santa Monica Place Remains On Track For Its August 2010 Opening:

Despite the slowdown in the economy, Santa Monica Place (SMP) is still going forward with its remodeling process and leasing space to a diversified mix of retailers and restaurants.

Last week the mall’s owner, Macerich, announced the addition of five new retailers that will become part of the 550,000 square foot three-level mall. Angl will feature a collection of fashions and accessories for young women; Bernini will specialize in menswear and signature fragrances for men and women; Michael Kors will offer a full range of clothes and accessories for men and women, as will Ted Baker; and the Swarovski boutique will feature the Swarovski European crystal in designs for jewelry, handbags, and home accessories.

Macerich’s Vice-President of leasing, Anne Singleton, told the Mirror that Macerich’s goal is to have the mall contain a “balanced mix of retail that will include brand names that people recognize” and would appeal to the broad audience that is expected to come to SMP. That audience will include local residents, tourists, and regional day-trippers.

Singleton also mentioned that Macerich is actively recruiting retailers and that some retailers have approached them because of the mall’s close proximity to the beach and the Third Street Promenade. Another factor in Macerich’s choice of lessees is targeting retailers who will complement those on the Promenade. She pointed out that over the 10-year period prior to the mall’s closing for renovation, many of its tenants moved on to the Promenade.

When the mall is fully leased, it will contain anywhere from 80 to 100 retailers depending upon the individual store sizes and footprints. Singleton anticipates leasing contracts will accelerate as the opening date of the mall draws closer.

“The mall renovation is completely on schedule,” noted Doug Roscoe, Macerich’s Senior Manager for Property Management. “We have recently completed putting in the glass, handrails, escalators, and the walking surfaces for the common areas. We will be turning over the tenant areas from December 2009 through the Spring of 2010.”

The City of Santa Monica and Macerich are also working on renovating both mall parking garages. Their renovation will include painting, new lighting, graphics, and signage, as well as refurbishing of the elevators. This work will be complete in time for SMP’s opening in 2010.

Roscoe also mentioned that the leasing for the rooftop dining deck is 90 percent complete. The deck will feature chef-driven restaurants and quick-casual dining options.

Bloomingdales, one of the mall’s anchor stores, will open at the mall’s official opening on August 6, 2010. The other anchor store, Nordstrom, will open on August 27.

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