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Caruso Says Shops at Santa Anita Are Not Gonna Happen

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Rick Caruso is OUT in Arcadia, having confirmed to the LA Business Journal via spokesperson that the Shops at Santa Anita project is dead: "Unfortunately, the Santa Anita project will not go forward." Plans for the Grove Far East Edition were first announced in 2004 and called for a 51 acre outdoor shopping center next door to the Santa Anita racetrack (it would have had 75% more retail space than the Americana, if you can even conceive of so much mallage), with a signature fountain, and a horse-drawn trolley. Yep, Rick Caruso just dashed any chance you had to travel to the San Gabriel Valley and ride in a horse-drawn trolley past a Forever 21. Cruel.

The last seven years have been almost nothing but trouble for the Shops at Santa Anita. Locals got Caruso to drop condos from the project, and the Westfield Santa Anita mall's opposition was particularly successful in its opposition--it forced a do-over on the environmental impact report and funded ballot initiatives that would have forced Caruso to provide free parking and kept him from using electronic signage on the development.

Caruso partnered up with Magna Entertainment in 2006, but Magna filed bankruptcy in 2009 and dissolved the partnership. Last year, Caruso filed a $21 million bankruptcy claim that "covers damages Caruso said he incurred and will incur as a result of his inability to complete the project." A lawyer involved tells the LABJ that the parties are working out a settlement.

Meanwhile, poor Arcadia is left with a less and less popular racetrack, no backup plan, and a bunch of horses without a trolley.
· Caruso Ditches Plan for Race Track Mall at Santa Anita [ LABJ]
· Shops at Santa Anita Archives [Curbed LA]