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ORANGE COUNTY, CA-A partnership of LA-based J.H. Snyder Co. and The Ezralow Co. says it will begin its previously announced, $130-million remodel of the once-thriving Huntington Beach Shopping Center here by the middle of next year.

The partners will transform the 1970s-era indoor mall into an open-air lifestyle and entertainment center. Though design plans are still being finalized, they include a large amount of new theater and restaurant space.

In addition, Sears Roebuck & Co. has agreed to open a 150,000-sf Great Indoors store in the development. The new store will complement several other retailers that are expected to stay after the remodeling is completed, including Mervyns, Barnes & Noble, Circuit City, Staples and Burlington Coat Factory.

Though other lessees have vacated the property, an Ezralow Co. spokesperson says letters of intent have already been signed for about 70% of the post-remodel space. Ezralow acquired the shopping complex two years ago.

The design concept, which is being honed by the Jerde Partnership and Greenberg Farrow Architects, calls for large piazzas, lavish landscaping and water features. Completion is slated for mid-2003.

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