gutting out

Santa Monica Place

Santa Monica Place was a three-story, 570,000 square-foot shopping mall in Santa Monica, California. The mall is located at the south end of the famous Third Street Promenade, and is also two blocks from the Santa Monica Pier and the beach. The mall is closed currently and is in the process of a major redevelopment with the new complex set to open in 2009.

Santa Monica Place opened in 1980 adjacent to the old Third Street Mall and was renovated in 1991 and again in 1996. The complex features 120 shops, the largest of which is Macy's. It is 152,000 sq. ft. on three levels. The mall featured a Robinsons May department store, but due to the merger between Federated/May Co., it was closed in 2006. It was 131,250 sq. ft. on three levels. The first two stories of the space is has been renovated into a Steve & Barry's. The mall features some upscale brands such as Kenneth Cole and Williams-Sonoma.

Santa Monica Place was designed by renowned architect Frank Gehry early in his professional career with Gruen Associates, constructed in 1980, and renovated in 1990. It has served as a backdrop for several films and television shows, most notably the exterior of the Ridgemont Mall in Fast Times at Ridgemont High; it has also been used in Pretty in Pink as well as Terminator 2: Judgment Day and Beverly Hills 90210.


Developer, The Macerich Company, purchased the mall in 1999 and in 2004 proposed tearing down the mall and replacing it with a 10-acre complex of high-rise condos, shops and offices. The plan met with strong opposition from local residents who felt the project did not meet the low-rise character of the neighborhood and would worsen traffic. In a second 2007 proposal, Macerich significantly scaled back its plans, which was received as positive by the public, and was passed. The project involves removing the mall's roof, gutting out the interior, create public walkways, a indoor/outdoor dining deck, and other adaptive reuse measures. Therefore this involved closing all shops except for the Macy's department store. Nordstrom has signed a letter of intent to open a location there in fall of 2010.. Macy's will close in 2009 to be replaced with a Bloomingdale's.. This project is expected to be completed by Fall 2009.

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