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[IMGCAP(1)]SANTA MONICA, CA-Macerich will seek LEED certification for its 550,000-square-foot Santa Monica Place, a 1980s-era enclosed shopping mall that is being converted to an open-air center. The Santa Monica-based retail REIT, which is also seeking LEED certification for its nearly 723,000 Northgate shopping center in the Northern California city of San Rafael, says it believes these will be among the few retail redevelopments to achieve LEED certification–and points out that both projects are also among the few new or redeveloped venues opening this year and next. Santa Monica Place is scheduled to reopen in August 2010 and the Northgate property will begins to open in phases in November this year.

[IMGCAP(2)]The new Santa Monica Place is a three-level shopping and dining center now under construction two blocks from the beach in Santa Monica. Bob Aptaker, vice president of development for Macerich, says that the focus on sustainability “aligns us with the interests of our shoppers,” describing Santa Monica as “one of the most environmentally forward-thinking communities anywhere.”

Among the green-building practices at the new Santa Monica Place are the recycling of an existing structure on a previously developed site and sending the majority of construction debris to a recycling facility; turning a climatized indoor mall into an outdoor center; improving connections to the streets of Downtown Santa Monica and access to public transportation; water-efficient landscaping and reduced water usage throughout the center and numerous other green building and design elements.

Jeff Bedell, vice president of sustainability for Macerich, says that the sustainable approach to redeveloping Santa Monica Place “is part of our portfolio-wide efforts to heighten sustainability at all of our properties and corporate offices.” He points out that an important way the new Santa Monica Place maximizes its outdoor, near-the-beach setting is the rooftop Dining Deck, which will offer ocean views as well as a variety of restaurants and quick-casual dining options. Santa Monica Place is located two blocks from the beach and next to the Third Street Promenade, a popular shopping and dining district.

Project anchors are Bloomingdale’s, which selected Santa Monica Place as the site for its first SoHo concept store outside Manhattan, and a new Nordstrom. Other retailers signed on for the project include Nike, CB2, Burberry, Kitson, Michael Kors, Ted Baker, Coach, Ed Hardy, True Religion, Joe’s Jeans, Swarovski, Ilori, Love Culture, Angl, Bernini, Michael Brandon, R.O.C. Republic of Couture, Arthur and Shuz, as well as Artevo, a technology-driven art gallery.

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