Beverly Center’s $500M renovation is complete; surprise, it’s still a mall

Taubman Centers invested big in the novel idea that traditional malls aren’t dead

Nov.November 02, 2018 10:00 AM
Architect Massimiliano Fuksas and the newly renovated Beverly Center

The statement that traditional malls are a dying breed in the U.S. 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.

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.

Earlier this year, Macerich teamed up with Hudson Pacific Properties to redevelop the nearby Westside Pavilion, turning the mall into mostly creative office space. Capri Capital Partners is converting the Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza mall into a supersized mixed-use development.

Brookfield Property Partners, meanwhile, which bought shopping mall real estate investment trust GGP for $14.8 billion in July, plans to expand GGP’s best performing malls with additional stores. But it will also repurpose poorly performing malls by adding housing, office space or hotels, according to a recent report..

Among the changes at the Beverly Center, a portion of the roof was replaced with a 25,000-square-foot ribbon of skylights, and smaller “air wells” through the mall. Large windows on the upper floors now offer views of the city. Massimiliano Fuksas, the architect who spearheaded the work, said in 2016 that “light is the most important,” piece for giving the mall new life. 

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. [LAT] — Dennis Lynch 

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