Irvine Spectrum Center

Newport Beach, Calif., developer Irvine Co. has capped the bulk of its work on a $200 million investment into its Irvine Spectrum Center.

The outdoor shopping center includes tenants such as Nordstrom, Target, Apple, Anthropologie, Urban Outfitters, the Improv comedy club and an Edwards IMAX theater. The capital infusion into the property included outdoor renovations in addition to the breakdown of an underperforming Macy’s store to create four new buildings for 30 new retailers and restaurants.

Heather Nykolaychuk, Irvine Co. Retail Properties senior vice president and chief marketing officer, said the investment helped bring a more “elevated” experience to the center and cited the general aim throughout the retail industry to create diverse experiences beyond shopping as something the property’s always considered.

“We’ve been reading a lot about the retail apocalypse and retail is dead,” she said pointing to Irvine Co.’s long-term ownership of its properties as one of the factors driving the investment. “While there are many different centers around us trying to create experiences in their centers, Irvine Spectrum Center has always been that.”

The investment and tenant additions, she said, keep the company on track with those broader goals.

Among the new entrants to the center is the first Hello Kitty-branded café; San Clemente, Calif., sock company Stance; Laguna Beach, Calif., jewelry brand Gorjana, and The Denim Lab. Additional tenants expected to open at the Spectrum later this year and into next include multibrand boutique Brigade LA, which previously operated out of downtown Los Angeles, along with Drybar and Sephora.

Unlike a number of centers developed more recently or simply re-tenanting their retail roster, the Spectrum’s leasing strategy hasn’t focused solely on first-to-market brands or concepts exclusive to the center, such as Lido Marina Village, which opened in 2016, or South Coast Plaza’s long-running focus on concepts new to Orange County.

“That is not absolutely necessary to the Spectrum customer, but it is something that we definitely look for and we make sure that it is the right fit,” she said of whether the Spectrum customer visits the center for new-to-market concepts. “So on a go-forward basis, we’re going to make sure it complements what we already have.”

Irvine Co. said the center draws upward of 18 million visitors a year with the average length of stay among guests two hours.

The Spectrum is part of a retail portfolio comprised of more than 40 properties owned and operated by the Irvine Co. That includes Fashion Island, the Market Place and a number of regional power and neighborhood shopping centers.