The latest instant destination from Rick Caruso, the developer behind the Americana at Brand and The Grove, is rapidly rising along the western reaches of Sunset Boulevard. Caruso razed Pacific Palisades’ 1950s downtown shopping district, which has spent the past few decades as a shadow of its former self on Swarthmore Avenue. In its place he’s building an idealized, if ersatz, one called Palisades Village, which will bring in retailers that include a celebrity jeweler and a paleo bakery, while a grocery store by Walmart heiress Paige Laurie will focus on the sustainable, the local, and the artisanal.
Mega-architecture firm Gensler, which designed the forthcoming Banc of California soccer stadium in Exposition Park and the International concourse at LAX, crafted the plan for the 125,000-square-foot village. Two stories and mostly white, with architectural styles that mix East Coast with West (plus maybe a hint of the town in The Truman Show), it perches atop an underground garage but will feature diagonal street parking to keep the village vibe.
The centerpiece will be an open lawn (no word on whether complimentary picnic blankets will be available, as they are at Americana’s synth lawn) below the Bay Theater’s classic cursive-neon movie marquee. The movie house is based on an actual cinema designed by master architect S. Charles Lee that’s just around the corner but unrecognizable since being transformed into a hardware store in the 1970s. The theater may be a facsimile, but as with the rest of the village, it’ll be a cushy, well-tended one: It will be operated by luxury chain Cinépolis, which this magazine named as a Best of L.A. pick earlier this year.
Stay on top of the latest in L.A. food and culture. Sign up for our newsletters today.