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SOUTH GATE, CA-Red Mountain Retail Group of Santa Ana and Allied Retail Partners of Newport Beach plan to develop a new 600,000-sf lifestyle retail center for completion by May 2008. The new project, being designed by Irvine-based KTGY Group Architecture and Planning, will create a “celebration of brands,” says Greg Lyon, principal at KTGY in Santa Monica.

Planned for a 35-acre site at the high-traffic intersection of Atlantic Avenue and Firestone Boulevard, the project will feature a variety of static building wall posters, big screen images, streaming commercials, TV programs, interviews with entertainment and sports figures, movie trailers and live broadcasts, according to Doug Beiswenger, managing partner of Allied Retail Partners. The signs and other media that will be mounted or displayed on the buildings at the center “will essentially become a second skin on the buildings,” Beiswenger says.

“Advertisers and shopping center owners are realizing that the retail environment is an excellent medium for advertising and can provide a significant revenue stream to shopping centers owners,” notes Beiswenger. The project is slated to include major large format retailers as well as promotional, lifestyle and shop retailers, full-service and quick-service restaurants and cafes.

David Goldman of Allied Retail Partners says that the major retailers who sign for space in the development “will essentially own the market for decades to come” because of the limited development locations in the area. According to South Gate city manager Gary Milliman, a retail market study completed in 2004 found that South Gate residents spend more than $220 million a year for retail purchases outside of South Gate, and that $220-million figure continues to grow.

The design firm Romero Thorsen Design of Santa Monica is also working with KTGY and the City of South Gate on the design of the project. The development has the backing of South Gate city officials, according to Mayor Maria Davila, who comments that “The city council and the staff have been working hard to get the city into a position where we can attract this type of major new private investment in the community.”

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