Real Estate Simi Valley mall gets ready for its closeup by jianghongl


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                               Real Estate
                               Simi Valley mall gets ready for its                                  BOOK OF LISTS
 OC Malls                                                                                               The complete
 Find Anything in              closeup                                                              tri-county business
 Orange County                                                                                        reference guide:
 Dining, Concerts,             Kevin Kreutz
 Nightlife & More              Staff Writer             10-21-05

                               As the Simi Valley Town Center nears its Oct. 27
                               unveiling, a by-the-numbers-look at the mall and luxury
                               apartment project shows how a team of developers
 Simi Valley Ca
 Build Your So.
                               crafted the Tri-Counties’ new regional mall, one of only
 California Trip               four coming out of the ground in the United States this
 Now More                      year.
 Choices, Flexibility
 & Savings                     The center, totaling 1.5 million square feet, signals the               official rise of a new retail regime, where equal                   Community Partners:
                               attention is given to the tenant lineup and the public                    GoVentura
                               amenities that encourage shoppers to spend more time                    SB Downtown
                               and money at the mall.                                                  SLO Chamber
 Ventura Hotels                                                                                            VCEDA
 Stop here first for           John Gilchrist, a developer with San Diego-based The                    Small Business
 great deals on                Corti Gilchrist Partnership, which helped build La                      Administration
 hotels in Ventura,                                                                               Gold Coast Broadcasting
                               Cumbre Plaza in Santa Barbara and The Oaks in
 California.                                                                                       SLO Economic Vitality          Thousand Oaks, is optimistic that the mall will succeed.                     Corp.
                               One number that’s caught his attention is the amount                   UCSB Economic
                               of disposable income per household per year in the                         Forecast
                               trade area surrounding the town center.                                 IntroNetworks
 Shopping Mall                 “One hundred and five thousand dollars—that’s a great           
 Perfect wholesale             number,” Gilchrist said during an Oct. 13 interview at
 source We                     the mall with the Business Times.                                       Chambers:
 dropship with no                                                                                       Thousand
 minimums                                                                                            Oaks/Westlake
                               And it’s one reason Gilchrist thinks the numbers add in                                                                             Camarillo
                               up favor of Simi Valley and his latest project.                            Oxnard
                                                                                                       Paso Robles
                               By the numbers                                                           Simi Valley
                               The town center, situated on 129 steppe-like acres                     Santa Barbara
                               between First Street and Erringer Road, looks out over                  Santa Maria
                               Highway 118 and Simi Valley.                                              Solvang
                               It has two department stores, 14 fountains, six million                    Goleta
                               tons of dirt, two oak trees, one glass dragon and one                   Atascadero
Web                                                                                        Ojai
 Search                                                                                               Arroyo Grande
                               The mall is divided into three components:                                Moorpark
                                                                                                  Santa Barbara Hispanic
                               • A 600,000-square-foot open-air mall, where Macy’s
                               and Robinsons-May bookend 120 stores that span
                               more than 1,000 feet.                                                   HOTEL &
                               • A 300,000-square-foot power center anchored by Best                  DIRECTORY
                               Buy and Lowe’s.
                                                                                                   The Conference Guide is
                               • A 600,000-squre-foot housing complex that comprises                  a specially designed
                                                                                                    section devoted to the
                               500 luxury apartments on the hillside above the mall.                planning and executing
                                                                                                    executive events in the
                               In a joint development with Corti Gilchrist, Los                      region. The section
                               Angeles-based Forest City Enterprises, a publicly                   published on October 7.
                               traded real estate company that owns property valued
                               at more than $7.4 billion, and The Finley Group of San
                               Diego developed the town center. F+A Architects of
                               Pasadena is also part of the team. Forest City will be
                               the long-term owner when the mall’s complete.
At press time, the mall was 91 percent leased, Gilchrist
said, with 83 percent of the square footage to be open
by Christmas. They’re still signing restaurants and
other tenants.

In the details                                               Best Western Pepper
                                                                    Tree Inn
During an Oct. 13 walkthrough at the mall, the               Courtyard by Marriott
developers pointed to the ground as much as to the             Oxnard/Ventura
                                                              El Encanto Hotel &
names of the tenants.
                                                                 Garden Villas
                                                               Embassy Suites
“There’s a definitive reason for doing everything we’ve        Mandalay Beach
done out there,” said Andy Feola, president of F+A               Fess Parker’s
Architects.                                                   Doubletree Resort
                                                             Four Points Sheraton
Every detail, according to Feola, is supposed to make         Grand Vista Hotel
                                                               Hotel Mar Monte
shopping, and not shopping, at the mall an enjoyable             Hotel Oceana
experience.                                                  Hotel Santa Barbara
                                                              Mammoth Premiere
Part of the attention to details, according to the               Reservations
developers, comes from the new competitive reality of               Mondial
retail. With shoppers able to buy from their home via             Pierpont Inn
                                                            Radisson Hotel Santa
the Internet, retail builders have to create an                      Maria
environment that will get people out of their homes.           Ramada Limited
                                                               Residence Inn by
“I design malls, and I really dislike shopping,” Feola      Marriott at River Ridge
said, preferring to sip coffee, read the newspaper and      Royal Scandinavian Inn
                                                               Ventura County
people watch while his wife peruses stores.
                                                             Fairgrounds & Derby
If Feola were to meander through the town center,             Sycamore Mineral
starting at the Macy’s end, one of the first things he          Springs Resort
would see is a 5,600-gallon Koi pond.                        Westlake Village Inn

Gardens and a fireplace are next in line as shoppers
walk eastward, toward Robinsons-May. Kenneth Lee,             Enter stock ticker
vice president of West Coast development for Forest            to get a quote!
City, said the team kinked the breezeways to create                       Go!
the allusion of shorter corridors.

More gardens and wooden-beam overhangs lead to the
first of two 100-year-old oak trees that the mall was
built around. At the halfway point, a 150-foot central
court separates the east and west corridors, fully wired
for outdoor concerts.

As shoppers enter the eastern wing, the tenants
change. Gone are the higher-end retailers such as Lane
Bryant and Z Galerie.

In their place are the shrines to teen fashion:
Abercrombie & Fitch, Hollister Co., American Eagle
Outfitters, PacSun and Tilly’s.

On the rolling, all-grass center of the walkway, a
10-ton, 50-foot mosaic glass dragon appears to pop in
and out of the soil, marking the beginning of the
“family-friendly environment” at the mall.

Another 100-year-old oak rises up between Urban
Outfitters and Vans as shoppers walk past the
children’s playground and to the food court, where
cast-iron chandeliers hang above wooden benches.

Palm trees and another fountain mark the entrance to
Robinsons-May and the end of the mall.

One of four

According to the International Council of Shopping
Centers, headquartered in New Jersey, the town center
is the last of four regional or super-regional malls that
opened in 2005.

The Imperial Valley Mall in El Centro was the only other
California mall to debut this year, with San Antonio,
Texas, and Charlotte, N.C., hosting the others. Three
regional malls opened in 2004, but only one is on track
to open in 2006, according to the council. To make the
                               to open in 2006, according to the council. To make the
                               129-acre site mall-ready, the team said it moved six
                               million tons of dirt, in part to shape the land around
                               earthquake fault lines that run through the property.

                               “If there’s ever an earthquake in the area, this would be
                               the place to come,” Gilchrist said.

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