At the end of the Third Street Promenade is a mall called Santa Monica Place. Built in 1980 it's a relic of all bad 80s designs. And, surprisingly, guess who's responsible? Frank Gehry.
Despite numerous renovations, it never really turned a profit. When the Promenade was given a more upscale look and stores about 10 years ago, Santa Monica Place suffered and for quite some time, it's been operating at about half-full.
But good news has arrived. As of January 31 the mall will close down for extensive renovations. The Macerich development company is going to tear off the roof of the mall and make it an outdoor lifestyle center mixing restaurants and retail. From the renderings on the website, we think it looks pretty sweet. But we'll have to wait until 2009 before it's completed.
In the meantime, the mall's anchoring store, Macy's, will remain open. Some retailers have shut down completely while others have relocated (Forever 21 moved to the Promenade). So for now, you're stuck shopping there. Our tip: Go early in the morning when the street performers aren't up and at 'em yet. Or hit up Montana Avenue instead.