Last night, at a very swank gathering for something that was happening in a mall, the owners of the Beverly Center (with help from Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti) unveiled their plans to bring the 1980s mall into the present-day. Taubman Centers, Inc. plans to spend $500 million doing the unthinkable: adding natural light inside the sinewy beige fortress and creating a better pedestrian experience on the long stretches of surrounding sidewalk.
They even want to finally give visitors a place to see the Beverly Center's spectacular views, which today are mostly blocked by various walls.
Overall, the idea is to create "a bright, contemporary and highly accessible exterior and interior that engages the center with the surrounding neighborhood, producing an effortless arrival, parking and departure experience." Whew. Good luck with that, BC.
Taubman's hired Italian architecture firm Studio Fuksas to attempt these feats and their plan calls for a long list of additions, as outlined in a press release:
Adding a continuous ribbon of new skylights that will bathe the entire center’s elegant and contoured floor openings and curves in natural light.
A shimmering new exterior that incorporates a perforated steel façade and will beautifully capture light during all parts of the day.
A fresh new streetscape that combines modern architecture and drought-resistant greenery for a pleasant walking experience.
A row of street-level restaurants that open the center to the vibrancy of West Third Street and embrace a pedestrian-oriented environment.
An additional valet off West Third Street to provide quick access to the street-level restaurants and retail.
A state-of-the-art smart parking system to dramatically improve the center’s arrival and departure experience.
An eighth level multi-concept gourmet food hall - THE STREET - by Chef Michael Mina.
Spectacular panoramic views of the Hollywood Hills and downtown Los Angeles from THE STREET, as well as from the center’s sixth floor.
The continual evolution of the merchandise mix combining luxury, contemporary and fast fashion retailers for an unparalleled shopping experience.
A flexible Center Court featuring an impressive 20’ w x 35’ h LED screen, plenty of places to sit, relax and plug in, and the ability to host events, exhibitions and installations.
Bloomingdale's and Macy's will stay on as anchor tenants, along with many other fancy shops, but the food will be a sharp departure from the mall's sub-par-even-for-a-mall-food-court food court. Michelin-star-holding Michael Mina will create two "dining destinations," including The Street dining terrace mentioned above, which will offer those views with the food, and there will be about eight more restaurants on top of those.
The mall will stay open during construction and work is expected to be done by the 2018 holidays.