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Here's the Jaw-Dropping Plan to Grove-ify Downtown Pac Pal

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Rick Caruso, the man behind The Grove and the Americana at Brand, has just revealed his plans for the huge makeover of Palisades Village, a large section of downtown Pacific Palisades along Swarthmore Avenue, and he's pulling a reverse-Pinocchio, taking a real (drab) street and turning it into a fakey, Grovey wonderland. He'll reduce car traffic from two lanes to one lane, add a move theater in a replica of the 1948 Bay Theater, and create a "collection of charming storefronts oriented around Swarthmore Avenue and a central park," according to a new website for the project. The new Palisades Village will have a mix of "independent specialty shops" and "renowned luxury tenants," plus a specialty grocer, restaurants with outdoor dining, and a community room.

Caruso writes on the site that "We have designed the new Swarthmore to be pedestrian-friendly and appropriately scaled," but he also intends to add tons of parking, both on-street and in an underground garage ("so we do not impact the views from the neighborhood"). He'll double the existing ratio to provide four parking spots per 1,000 square feet of project, although he hasn't yet revealed the total square footage of the project. Meanwhile, the existing surface parking lot will be turned into a 13,000-square-foot "neighborhood green" with an adjacent dining patio.

For the theater, Caruso's people found the original renderings for the Bay Theater, designed by famous theater architect S. Charles Lee, and they plan "to create the theater as he intended in 1948" on its original footprint (*the building is still standing but closed in 1978 and was converted into a hardware store). But it will probably still have the Caruso fingerprint on it: "it needed to be how you remembered it, and possibly greater," he writes.

The new Palisades Village should open in late 2017.


Lots of history, pretty people laughing, and a full fly-through here:

· Palisades Village [Official Site]
· Grove-Style Makeover on the Way in Downtown Pac Pal [Curbed LA]