In one year’s time, the new Santa Monica Place is finally set to debut in all its let’s-eat-and-shop-by-the-ocean glory. Developers The Macerich Company (based in SM), held a party at the construction site on the emerging rooftop deck with hard hats (I was too cool to wear mine, naturally) and hors d’oeuvres. I’ve lived in Santa Monica/Venice on and off for 15 years, Venice for the last 9, and I’ve often lamented about the dated cement fortress that was the old Santa Monica Place at the end of the Third Street Promenade at Colorado and Broadway. I know it was early Frank Gehry and featured in Fast Times at Ridgemont High, but today it seems kind of late 80’s/early 90’s mall-depressing—strictly big square shoulder pads. I’d stop for a kabob in the interesting-smelling foodcourt sometimes or stop in Williams Sonoma but that was about it. The whole joint needed a serious spruce up.
The latest plan (they had to go through several from the sounds of it) isn’t just a spruce up, it’s major face and body work. In the old SM Place I used to drive up to the roof of the parking structure for the view of Santa Monica and the ocean. Some nights there would be a handful of people with cameras facing away from the water shooting a pale, enormous moon, so I’m especially happy to see the rooftop deck that will be filled with restaurants where you can sit outside and enjoy the view—urban naturalle.
Ready-set-shop: Stores inked for 2010 include Michael Kors, Bloomingdales (it’s first SOHO concept store outside of Manhattan), Ted Baker and Joe’s Jeans among others. Restaurants include two from Richard Sandoval (Zengo and La Sandia) plus Pizza Antica and ZINO restaurant + Lounge. Santa Monica Place reopens August 6, 2010.
The side view designed to resemble a pier
The view from the end of the Third Street Promenade
The rooftop deck
Open. Open. Open.