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10 Quotes About the Grove From Its Birth in the Early Aughts

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Ten years ago today, there was no LA Live, no TMZ, and no immediate plans for a Subway to the Sea. But there was a Grove. The outdoor mall/Mediterranean village/Frank Sinatra showcase opened on March 15, 2002, ten years ago yesterday. In that time, developer Rick Caruso's signature project has become a local landmark, the butt of jokes, and more popular than Disneyland. To mark the occasion, we combed through the news of the early aughts to come up with these ten choice quotes about the second most famous mall in America:

1. [City] Council President John Ferraro--whose district includes the Farmers Market--called the scaled-down development the 'perfect solution.'...'I believe this is an excellent development,' he said. 'It's not just a shopping center. . . . It's almost a work of art.'
"Development Near Farmers Market OKd by City Council; Landmark: Vote follows 10 years of wrangling over project's size. The open-air complex with a Nordstrom and movie theater will be smaller than first planned," LA Times, Feb. 3, 2000

2. "Low-rise, open-air and centered on a so-called authentic destination, the Grove, a project of Caruso Affiliated Holdings, may signal a direction for developers regionwide. With many of the big- box malls struggling and the frenzied construction of high-rise office towers slowing, the most intriguing projects are designed to enhance and capitalize on the city's past."
"Save the Best of the Old," LA Times, Feb. 12, 2000

3. "'I'm always for change when it is for a good reason,' said Park Labrea resident Jeri Coates. 'But even so, I feel the area's uniqueness will be lost in the congestion and the pollution [accompanying it]. It makes me sick to look at [the Grove construction site].'"
"Another Transformation for Farmers Market Area; Development: Two projects will bring new business--and congestion--into the heart of L.A.'s Jewish community," LA Times, Jan. 1, 2001

4. "According to Aubie Goldenberg, a partner with Ernst & Young's Los Angeles office who closely follows the retail world, the Grove's street- like design could give its local competitor, the staid Beverly Center, a run for its money. 'One of the questions is whether this type of mall complex is the trend and whether people will start seeing the Bev Center as dated,' Goldenberg said. 'And there's something to be said about having a Nordstrom - that's the right anchor tenant for a center like that.'"
"GROVE OPENS TODAY; NEW CENTER DESIGNED TO BE GOOD NEIGHBOR TO NEXT DOOR LANDMARK L.A. FARMERS MARKET," Daily News, Mar. 15, 2002

5. "'We want to design something where people can come hang out just to meet a friend,' [Rick Caruso] said. 'The minute they do that, when they want to buy something, I guarantee they'll come back.'"
"LOOKING FORWARD BY LOOKING BACK; NEWEST PEDESTRIAN MALLS ALL ABOUT BEING OUTDOORS," Daily News, Mar. 12, 2002

6. "'They learned from Disneyland,' [Donald Brackenbush, a Pasadena architect and chairman of the Los Angeles wing of the Urban Land Institute] said. 'People feel comfy in those environments - it's the right scale, the right details and everything. They try to capture what was significant architecturally about Main Street, and Caruso got a lot of them right. If you look at a typical strip mall of the same size, Caruso hasn't changed it that much. He's added a lot of landscape in the parking lot, put in a few more buildings to hide the cars, so it's not that different in terms of what's in there, but it's extremely different in the way it looks, which has made a significant improvement.'"
"LOOKING FORWARD BY LOOKING BACK; NEWEST PEDESTRIAN MALLS ALL ABOUT BEING OUTDOORS," Daily News, Mar. 12, 2002

7. "The median price for a home in the 2 1/2-square-mile neighborhood surrounding The Grove was $638,500 in January. That was 23 percent higher than in December 2000, when The Grove broke ground, according to San Diego-based DataQuick Information Systems. Median home prices across L.A. County increased by 18 percent during the same period. For homes directly east of The Grove...appreciation appears more pronounced. At 130 N. Gardner St. (which borders Pan Pacific Park, which itself borders the east side of The Grove), a three-bedroom home that went for $350,000 in January 1999 sold for $558,000 in November. After a renovation, it's on the market again for $740,000."
"Peace Down, Property Values Up for Grove Neighbors," LA Business Journal, Mar. 18, 2002

8. "As cars backed up in front of his Martel Avenue home six blocks away on that same day, Finn was skeptical about what effect The Grove, which opened last Friday, would have on the value of his home of 50 years. 'Why should it boost it?' asked [local Dave] Finn, pointing his cane at the line of cars. 'This used to be a nice neighborhood. It's terrible now.'"
"Peace Down, Property Values Up for Grove Neighbors," LA Business Journal, Mar. 18, 2002

9. "The vast majority of people dig the experiential onslaught, the Imax-ing of the mall experience. Plain-wrapped life is clearly not enough. Over and over in conversation, people name the Grove their favorite among the rookie malls. 'The Grove has every bell and whistle you can jam into a project," says [Tim Magill of the Jerde Partnership], including a dancing fountain and a working, life-size, double-decker trolley to convey patrons from one end of the two-block center to the other-- perhaps the ultimate symbol of Angelenos' allergy to perambulation. 'It's the Christmas tree of retail,' says Magill. 'It's got a lot of trim.'"
"It's a Mall World After All; Indoors or out? High-rent or lowbrow? With movies or without? Decisions, decisions," LA Times, Aug. 1, 2002

10. "Los Angeles' usually harried adult populace seems a bit more at ease here. People look happy wandering the winding walkways, past stained-glass streetlights and Easter-colored facades that are neither French nor Spanish but a low-volume Every Europe."
"It's a Mall World After All; Indoors or out? High-rent or lowbrow? With movies or without? Decisions, decisions," LA Times, Aug. 1, 2002 Grove under construction by Robert Pacheco via LAPL
· The Grove Archives [Curbed LA]

The Grove

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