Alhambra is not about to be "malled": Thursday's opening of the $19-million Alhambra Place downtown shopping center is part of the community's effort to preserve the central retail core in the face of competition from huge regional malls.
Rather than allowing a developer to erect an out-of-scale, warehouse-like structure, the San Gabriel Valley city established architectural guidelines that helped Charles Kober Associates/Los Angeles design a shopping complex on the site of the former City Hall at the southeast corner of Main Street and Garfield Avenue.
"Rhythmic facade articulation best describes how Alhambra Place meets the design criteria set forth in the 1981 design guide prepared for the city," according to Kenneth Long, project designer at the Kober firm. "The undulating geometry of roof heights, windows, signage and tile banding continues and reflects the city's range of styles, from traditional 1920s Main Street storefronts to 1940s/1950s Showcase Modern."
Developed by Sutter Hill Ltd., Palo Alto, the three-building complex abuts the sidewalks with stores opening both onto the sidewalk and into the inner courtyard leading to city parking areas, he added.