CHECK OUT THE BEVERLY CENTERS 500-MILLION DOLLAR MAKEOVER
Traditional malls are a dying breed in the U.S. —that statement has been said so many times by industry experts that’s it’s almost taken as a fact. But the owners of the Beverly Center in Beverly Grove strenuously disagree. (FROM THE LA TIMES & THE REAL DEAL LA)
Taubman Centers Inc. just completed a massive $500 million renovation of the 36-year-old, eight-story mall at 8500 Beverly Boulevard. The company is betting that modern food options, art, and the addition of large windows and skylights will help bring in shoppers, according to the Los Angeles Times.
The project — which the company announced on Friday was complete — is a risk and not one many other mall owners have taken.
Taubman also set up the mall’s central area as a stylish seating area around a three-story-tall LED screen. The screen is currently showing art by artist Refik Anadol. The Brutalist-style exteriors of the mall also got a makeover.
Food options were also significantly improved, with new additions like Italian restaurant Cal Mare. San Francisco chef Joshua Skenes is also set to open a three Michelin star restaurant next year.
The hulking structure was the height of urban chic when it opened in 1982 in a choice location next to Beverly Hills and West Hollywood, not far from the fashionable Rodeo Drive and Melrose Avenue retail strips.
The eight-story mall boasted the first Hard Rock Cafe in the United States and was a magnet for tourists as well as prosperous locals. But tastes changed in recent years in favor of sun-drenched outdoor “lifestyle” centers that combine shopping with dining and entertainment, and many struggling traditional malls opted for makeovers.
Beverly Center’s closest competitors, the pioneering Grove lifestyle center and the recently revamped Westfield Century City, take advantage of Southern California’s sunshine and encourage visitors to dine, meander and kick back in the outdoors when they’re not browsing in stores.
Like other indoor urban malls of its era, the Beverly Center was also tightly focused on customers arriving by car, turning a blank face to the streets surrounding its oddly shaped block: 3rd Street and Beverly, La Cienega and San Vicente boulevards.
“We were like a bunker,” Taubman said, “and we didn’t connect to 3rd Street or the surrounding community.”
As part of the makeover, the owners punched an entrance into 3rd Street that has a wide drop-off station, optional valet parking and Room Service, a members’ club catering to stylists who assemble wardrobes for film and television shoots or wealthy clients.