Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Santa Monica Place, Cool New Mall in California: It Would be Even Cooler Here

"Santa Monica Place Opens, Transforms Enclosed Mall Into Vibrant Outdoor Urban Center"
The Jerde Partnership, via PR Presswire (August 9 (presumably 2010))

"Los Angeles-based The Jerde Partnership today announced the opening of the new Santa Monica Place, which transforms an indoor, suburban-style mall into a vibrant, open-air center. The project, nearly a decade in the making, was designed by Jerde to resurrect the old-style mall as an urban hub that will realize its potential as the heart of the city. In addition to removing the roof from the enclosed center, Jerde planned key communal spaces and a circulation pattern that will promote pedestrian connectivity between the bustling Third Street Promenade, historic pier, civic center, and the city's other popular attractions.

"Santa Monica Place first opened in 1980 as a suburban-style, enclosed, three-level mall that would draw department stores to the area. Despite the rising popularity of the city and nearby attractions, Santa Monica Place became less popular among shoppers and retailers as the adjacent, outdoor Third Street Promenade grew in popularity. Macerich, a prominent shopping center owner, manager and developer based in Santa Monica, acquired the center in 1999 and began to work on its redevelopment in 2002...."

As corporate press releases go, it's not bad. No photos, long paragraphs, words and phrases like "vibrant" and "nearly a decade in the making" an incomplete date-of-release - still, like I said, it's not bad.

Now, here's a link to the Santa Monica Place website. It's designed around the idea that you might want to come and check the place out, and gets that job done.

"Newest Disney Store redesign opens in tourist-area Santa Monica Place"
insidethemagic.net (August 9, 2010)

The insidethemagic.net folks did it right: photos, and an embedded YouTube video.

"Shoppers swarm remodeled Santa Monica Place mall"
Los Angeles Times (August 7, 2010)

Not much text, one small photo - and a price tag for the makeover: $265,000,000.

"Santa Monica Place"

"The all new, open-air Santa Monica Place offers dozens of exciting specialty stores and a rooftop Dining Deck offering gorgeous ocean views and a tremendous variety of both casual and chef-driven restaurants...."

Another pretty good page about the new outdoor mall. This one has a list of the department stores, specialty retailers, and restaurants - and a link to transportation information.

What gets me is why 'corporate' press releases can't be written like the copy for some of these websites. I've got an idea that might explain that sort of thing:Finally, looking at these glowing descriptions of the excellence of Santa Monica Place, where peeling the roof off transformed it from a "fortress-like" mall to this vision of coolness, the thought crossed my mind: I haven't seen places like that here, where I live.

There aren't as many folks living in this part of the country, as there are in the Los Angeles area, which makes a big difference. But that's not the only reason for the relative lack of open-air shopping centers around here.

I live in central Minnesota, where water is a mineral for several months each year. Imagine the palm trees in that photo sticking out of about a foot of snow, with sparkling icicles hanging from the leaves.

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