Orange County shopping malls are undergoing makeovers to the tune of nearly $8 billion
The owners of eight malls across the county are redeveloping vacant anchor stores and unused parking for new homes, dining and entertainment, the Orange County Business Journal reported.
The mall overhauls have a construction value approaching $8 billion, according to city filings, estimates and Business Journal sources.
Around 4 million square feet of mall retail space was bulldozed over the past year. Across the eight projects, 13,000 homes are expected to be built over the next decade.
The mall projects aim to preserve 6 million square feet of retail stores, down from nearly 8 million square feet before construction.
“For these redevelopment opportunities, the land has more value than the structures that are on it,” Shopoff Realty Investments CEO Bill Shopoff, based in Irvine, told the Business Journal. “It’s time to redevelop, intensify the uses and utilize sites that have great infrastructure in them.”
The mall revamps include Related Bristol, a 42-acre, $3 billion project by Irvine-based Related California that would redevelop the 460,000-square-foot Metro Town Square in Santa Ana, across from South Coast Plaza.
Plans call for 3,750 apartments, a 200-unit senior complex, a 250-room hotel and 350,000 square feet of shops and restaurants.
Meanwhile, Los Angeles-based Lowe Enterprises is conducting a $500 million makeover of the MainPlace Mall in Santa Ana, near the 5 and 22 freeways.
Plans call for 1,900 homes, a 400-room hotel, 1.4 million square feet of shops and restaurants, and up to 750,000 square feet of offices. Its first apartment complex, Paloma, opened last month with 309 homes. Lowe will soon break ground on 410 more.
Newport Beach-based Irvine Company began demolition this summer for a 79-acre revamp of the Irvine half of The Market Place, to make way for 1,261 homes. The homes will replace 200,000 square feet of retail space at the center between Bryan Avenue and El Camino Real.
San Francisco-based Merlone Geier Partners has been approved to replace the 68-acre Laguna Hills Mall with 1,500 apartments, 250,000 square feet of shops and restaurants, a 150-room hotel and as many as 465,000 square feet of offices around a 2.5-acre park.
The city’s 870,000-square-foot mall will be bulldozed, and replaced by a renamed Village at Laguna Hills to cost $600 million.
Merlone Geier also plans to sink $650 million in an overhaul of Buena Park’s largest mall, with plans to add 1,302 homes to the 1.1 million-square-foot shopping center along the 405 Freeway.
Housing will include 1,176 apartments and 126 three-story townhomes next to a 1-acre public park, 3.5 acres of open space and a parking lot to be shared with the mall.
Indianapolis-based Simon Property Group plans to redevelop part of the 74-acre Brea Mall by adding a seven-story, 380-unit apartment building, a 119,000-square-foot outdoor plaza and 47,000 square feet of shops and restaurants.
Aside from the redevelopment of a former Sears store, the 1.3 million-square-foot indoor mall would remain untouched.
The Costa Mesa-based C.J. Segerstrom & Sons aims to transform South Coast Plaza Village in Santa Ana. A new Village Santa Ana will contain 1,583 homes, up to 300,000 square feet of offices and 80,000 square feet of shops and restaurants.
The project is next to South Coast Plaza, and could approach $1.5 billion in value, the Business Journal estimates.
— Dana Bartholomew