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LAKEWOOD, CA-The Santa Monica-based Macerich Co. REIT has signed its first Costco ever as the fifth anchor store at the 2.9-million-sf Lakewood Center. The addition of the Costco, which will be a 159,000-sf store, will make the Lakewood Center the single largest enclosed shopping center in the Los Angeles metro area.

The move is a first for Costco in Southern California, where it has never before opened its doors as a part of a super regional shopping center. However, it may be the sign of something more in the retail world, according to Art Coppola, president and CEO of the publicly held Macerich Co.

“This is a time when retail formats are converging, and we are reinventing the concept of the regional shopping center,” Coppola says. “This is an important new hybrid model with great potential to fuel growth for well positioned retail properties.”

The new Costco is tentatively scheduled to open in fall 2008 on the site formerly occupied by Macy’s, which relocated to the former Robinsons-May store following last year’s Federated-May merger.In July 2006, Lakewood Center’s managing parent company, Macerich, acquired the vacant Lakewood department store from Federated Department Stores Inc. in a deal that included 11 redundant Federated locations nationally.

Jeff Brotman, Costco founder and chairman, calls the move to the Lakewood Center “a significant move for Costco.” He notes that the location is one of the top performing centers in the heart of Los Angeles.

The existing anchors that Costco will join at the Lakewood Shopping Center include JCPenney, Macy’s, Mervyn’s, Target and Pacific Theaters. The center also features more than 250 specialty shops and restaurants.

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