LOS ANGELES — A few years and $500 million later, Taubman Centers is ready to celebrate the completion of the Beverly Center’s renovation that’s brought in aesthetic updates and new tenants to the property.
The 886,000-square-foot property’s completion was one of several retail projects in the greater Los Angeles area in recent years that have come online, including the Palisades Village project by Caruso and the $1 billion completion of Westfield Century City about a year ago.
“It feels great on the one hand,” Taubman Centers chief operating officer William Taubman said a day ahead of a series of events taking place during the weekend to ring in the refreshed property. “The thing about mall projects is that they’re never really done. The physical part is done, but the remerchandising continues.…At the end of the day, we’re very happy with the way things turned out, and we believe we have the most compelling assortment of any location in the entire market and, clearly, the only location that appeals to the contemporary shopper.”
Rome-based Studio Fuksas oversaw the design with a 25,000-square-foot skylight among the renovation’s focal points. There’s also been the addition of a smart parking system and a Grand Court where shoppers can relax and charge their electronics.
From a food perspective, Farmhouse Los Angeles, Yardbird Southern Table & Bar and Cal Mare are among the new restaurant openings, with Akira Back Steak and The Street LA, among the food tenant openings set to open next year.
Among the roster of new tenants brought in this year alone were APM Monaco, Balenciaga, G-Star Raw, Hayden Girls, If & Co, Longchamp, Polo Ralph Lauren, The Celect and Zara. Brooks Brothers is scheduled to open for the holidays, moving from its Rodeo Drive location to a 3,170-square-foot space at the Beverly Center. The Webster, in 2020, is set to bow an 11,000-square-foot store at the property.
How food, fashion and art was fused into the Beverly Center presents a study — and perhaps one answer of many — for what the future of malls is, Taubman said.
“One of the things about American retail is it doesn’t feel new because it isn’t new,” Taubman said.
Older properties now have the opportunity to revamp themselves to remain relevant, he added.
That’s key within the greater Los Angeles area’s highly competitive retail market where consumers have strong shopping options in both street and mall retail — a strength of the market that also keeps property owners on their A game.
“Almost every other market in America has one or the other, and so the decision-making by the consumer as to where they shop and why, exists in a completely different dynamic than a suburban setting,” Taubman said of the Los Angeles market.
Logistics through the city and broader area play a big part in those decisions, an aspect Taubman Centers considered at length as it was revamping Beverly Center.
The center now, from Taubman’s perspective, sits in a nice niche where its collection of tenants runs high to low specifically for a contemporary consumer, while having a large enough footprint to offer the breadth of brands that makes it worth a consumer’s time to navigate L.A. traffic and step foot on the property.
“As you think about L.A. what’s, I think, the key to our decision was what would create a compelling shopping destination for this consumer as the world continues to evolve,” Taubman said. “And that was how we came to the overall redevelopment or remerchandising plan.”