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Redeveloped Santa Monica Place Mall Will Be Greener:

Santa Monica Place (SMP) is being remodeled and one of the goals of its owner, the Macerich Corporation, is to have the mall be LEED certified by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC).

LEED, which stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is a green building rating system. Points are awarded by the USGBC in six different categories. They are sustainable sites, water efficiency, energy and atmosphere, materials and resources, indoor environmental quality, and innovation and design process. A project can be certified in one of four levels based upon how many points it receives. Macerich’s Vice-President of Development, Bob Aptaker, told the Mirror they are striving for a basic certification for SMP and have LEED accredited professionals on their design team.

Many green-building practices are being incorporated into the new SMP according to literature from Macerich. They include taking the existing enclosed mall and redeveloping it into an outdoor center. This will allow the mall to utilize more natural light and natural ventilation and reduce its energy usage. Most of the debris being removed is being sent to a recycling facility, some of the new construction materials will contain recycled material, and attempts are being made to reuse existing materials for new construction to reduce the need for new materials and reduce debris. Water use will be reduced by the utilization of water efficient landscaping and irrigation systems. The project will also incorporate paints, adhesives, carpets, and other materials that emit less volatile organic compounds. Solar panels will be used for tenant spaces and the mall’s roof will contain reflective roofing materials.

A key sustainability feature will be the improvement of the mall’s connectivity to Downtown Santa Monica and the Civic Center area. This will help facilitate improved pedestrian access to all the mall’s entrances and better access to public transportation. The mall is also located near residential neighborhoods so residents don’t have to drive as far or can walk to the mall. Lastly, preferred parking will be offered for alternative fuel vehicles.

Aptaker also stressed that Macerich’s goal is to “have sustainability express itself through the entire project.” One of the ways this is being accomplished is by having the mall’s tenants follow certain sustainable criteria as well as additional suggested criteria.

The redeveloped mall will contain 550,000 square feet of leasable space distributed on three-levels. Half of that space will be occupied by its anchor stores, Bloomingdale’s and Nordstrom. The rest will include 80-100 retailers and a rooftop dining deck that will contain chef driven restaurants as well as casual dining options.

The new mall will open on August 6, 2010 but Nordstrom won’t open until August 27.

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