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Bloomingdale’s Seen as Perfect Fit for New Santa Monica Place

By Jorge Casuso

September 11 – Bloomingdale’s is coming to Santa Monica Place, adding the last major piece to the ambitious transformation of the struggling indoor mall into an upscale regional shopping venue, Macerich officials announced Wednesday.

The fashionable department store -- which is owned by Macy’s Inc. -- will replace the Macy’s store that is the only shop open in the gutted, half-million square-foot mall. (“Tour Showcases Mall Metamorphosis,” August 7, 2008)

Bloomingdale’s will join Nordstrom’s, which signed on two months ago, as an anchor for the remodeled mall, which will feature an open courtyard connected to the Third Street Promenade and a top-floor dining deck with sweeping ocean views.

“I can’t tell you how big this is,” said Randy Brant, executive vice president in charge of real estate for Macerich. “Bloomingdale’s will complement the merchandise direction we’re moving towards.”

The move allows Macerich to complete its makeover of the 30-year-old mall designed by Frank Gehry by replacing the final blank stretch of wall looming three floors high along the street.

“One of the major concerns was the exterior of Macy’s,” said Brant, who negotiated the deal. “We’re going to get a new exterior. It’s very exciting. The new mall (will have) a new skin. We’ve completed all four sides of the block.”

The proposed exterior of the new store will require the approval of the City’s Architectural Review Board (ARB), Brant said.

Macy's will close in February 2009, paving the way for the transformation of the 122,000-square-foot department store into a brand-new Bloomingdale's, which is scheduled to open in 2010, Macerich officials said.

The new venue at Santa Monica Place brings Bloomingdale's – the country’s only nationwide, full-line, upscale department store -- closer to the high-end shoppers in Santa Monica, Pacific Palisades, Brentwood and other Westside communities west of the 405 Freeway.

"We are pleased to be expanding our presence in this very important market," said Michael Gould, Bloomingdale's chairman and chief executive officer. “We believe that Bloomingdale's distinctive assortments and personalized service will be welcomed in this new venue that is so ideally matched to the Bloomingdale's customer."

The store plans to introduce a “SoHo-store concept,” which will feature “tightly edited assortments of contemporary men's and women's merchandise tailored for the Santa Monica area,” Gould said.

While the Promenade is a strong market for young trend-conscious shoppers, Bloomingdale’s, which is known for its innovative approach to fashion and iconic brand, will “take it up a notch and complete the demographics of the market.”

The coming of Nordstrom’s and Bloomingdale’s is hastening the transformation of the mall into what could prove to be the most fashionable, upscale shopping venue in one of the nation;’s most desirable markets.

Plans to replace the old downstairs fast-food court with a signature rooftop Dining Deck that will feature between five and eight sit-down restaurants are moving forward, Brant said.

The decision by Macy's, Inc., to introduce Bloomingdale's at Santa Monica Place reflects the community’s wishes, according to Brant.

"We're pleased that the company listened to local shoppers, who consistently voiced their interest in a different, more fashion-forward shopping experience at Santa Monica Place," Brant said. “This is very exciting for Macerich, for the mall and for the city.”


“I can’t tell you how big this is.” Randy Brant


"We are pleased to be expanding our presence in this very important market." Michael Gould




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