By  on April 23, 2010

Louis Vuitton and Tiffany & Co. have signed deals to open in the revamped Santa Monica Place, set to launch on Aug. 6 after a $265 million overhaul.

The Macerich Co., which owns the Southern California shopping center, is to announce other new tenants such as Barneys Co-op, Betsey Johnson, Johnny Was, L’Occitane, White House|Black Market, Tous and local jewelry concept Sea of Silver. They will join a roster that already included Nordstrom, Bloomingdale’s, Burberry, Michael Kors, Kitson and Tory Burch, among others, at the 550,000-square-foot, three-level project.

Macerich poured $163.2 million into the redevelopment last year and another $101.8 million this year, according to the company’s annual report. Its challenge is to persuade customers to return to Santa Monica Place, which had sales in the $300-a-square-foot range when it closed in January 2008, said Douglas Roscoe, Macerich’s senior manager, property management. Competitive properties in Southern California regularly record double that figure and higher.

Roscoe estimated Santa Monica Place would be 70 percent occupied when it opens, and projected that rate would climb to 80 percent by the end of the year.

The shopping center will have a 17,000-square-foot main court at its core for concierge services, community events and seating. There are 2,000 parking spaces and four entrances — on the Third Street Promenade, Second Street, Fourth Street and Colorado Boulevard — to ease arrival for both pedestrians and drivers.

Anne Singleton, vice president, leasing at Macerich, said the customer exodus from the old Santa Monica Place was caused by an underwhelming group of stores and poor access. “There wasn’t anything here for them,” she said.

The new Santa Monica Place aims to win back its target customers: 35-year-old affluent women with fashion options. Singleton pointed to its convenience, an updated design epitomized by airiness, sweeping views, revamped anchors (a 102,000-square-foot Bloomingdale’s and a 122,000-square-foot Nordstrom, and a balanced mix of new stores and food offerings as major draws.

The redesign will allow customers to “take advantage of Santa Monica and why people live here,” she said. “It is as much about socializing as it is about shopping.”

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