By  on July 16, 2008

Nordstrom is headed to the beach.

The Seattle-based department store chain announced plans Tuesday to open a full-line unit in Macerich’s Santa Monica Place mall, which is in the midst of a major overhaul. Nordstrom is the first new tenant announced for the Santa Monica, Calif., property and the first significant retail component of the beachside center’s $265 million redevelopment.

Nordstrom also disclosed plans for stores at two other Macerich properties in California — the relocation of its existing Cerritos store at Los Cerritos Center and a remodel and expansion of its Broadway Plaza store in Walnut Creek.

The moves come even though Nordstrom said in May that it was struggling with soft sales in California, which accounts for 32 percent of its business.

Nordstrom is now the linchpin of Santa Monica Place, the 550,000-square-foot indoor mall that Macerich bought in 1999 for about $130 million from Rouse Co. The company is transforming the Frank Gehry-designed mall into a three-level, open-air retail center that will include a rooftop dining deck. It is to re-open in fall 2009.

The three-level, 122,000-square-foot Nordstrom store is to open in fall 2010. The center is adjacent to the popular outdoor pedestrian shopping strip Third Street Promenade, which draws some 40,000 to 50,000 visitors on weekends.

“We want to bring in tenants and merchandise as if we owned Third Street so that it’s a complement, and take Santa Monica Place more upscale,” said Randy Brant, Macerich’s executive vice president of real estate.

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