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Manhattan Beach Shopping Complex’s $180M Facelift Hits Milestone

New Tenants, More Space on Track for Manhattan Village
May 11, 2018
While the rest of the country debates whether retail is dead, one landlord is betting big on the remodel of a nearly four-decade-old shopping center in one of Los Angeles’ wealthiest neighborhoods.

DWS, a subsidiary of Deutsche Bank Group, has completed the first phase of its $180 million renovation to expand and transform tony Manhattan Beach's 44-acre Manhattan Village shopping center into a modern indoor-outdoor shopping complex.

The shopping center on 44 acres at Sepulveda Boulevard and Rosecrans Avenue includes a central indoor mall with outward-facing shops on its exterior, as well as several freestanding nodes of restaurants and shops and grocery store across the property.

When completed in two years, the remodeled center will expand by about 53,300 square feet to a total of 648,000 square feet, incorporating the well-known indoor-outdoor lifestyle of the South Bay beach community.

"This isn’t about getting bigger, it’s about getting better," said Joe Saunders of DWS at a ribbon-cutting ceremony to reveal the completion of the first phase this week. "We’re embracing the West Coast lifestyle."

The $12 million first phase gives a sense of the vision that DWS has for the rest of the mall, Saunders added.

Aesthetically, the mall’s upgrades reflect a light and airy beach feel of the community: natural stone floors, white walls with natural wood accents, expansive skylights in the ceiling and cushy lounge-style chairs for public seating.

The first phase also involved adding some new facades, new restrooms and a new central fountain as well as adding other shopper-focused touches such as touch-screen directories and updated seating areas.

The upgrades are already attracting new tenants. Chef-inspired restaurant Joey Manhattan Beach, as well as locally and sustainably sourced ingredient restaurant Urban Plates, will open in the complex next year. Upscale-salon Holly and Hudson Nail Lounge will open inside the mall this year.

"These three tenants represent the first of many new dining and retail options that will be joining Manhattan Village," said Don Ziss, Jones Lang LaSalle Inc. senior general manager who oversees mall’s operations. Three new tenants will be announced next month, with space for more in the future, he added.

The rest of the renovation project will include the demolition of some of the property's existing buildings to make way for new parking structures that will be hidden by shops and restaurant strategically designed around them and combining two Macy’s locations into one 168,000-square-foot location. Improvements to surrounding and through streets as well as turning lanes are also in the pipeline.

DWS will open create an oversized entryway to the mall that connects it to the outdoor shopping area, so "you never know you’re going from outside to inside," Saunders said.

The Manhattan Village transformation reflects a growing trend of large shopping center developers toward creating a more centralized and inviting spot for people to congregate. Recent retail studies show shoppers seeking for more experience-oriented centers where they can socialize beyond just completing a shopping transaction.

Manhattan Village accounts for a quarter of the city’s sales tax revenue, according to Mayor Amy Thomas Howorth. She and city officials have been working with DWS for about a decade to get the project approved and underway.

She and city officials toasted to the project’s milestone at the ribbon-cutting ceremony, noting its significance for the city.

"It’s important to our community that we keep it vital so people want to spend time and shop here," she said. "People want a place to connect."

Jacquelyn Ryan, Los Angeles Market Reporter  CoStar Group   
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