About 6,000 community leaders and guests have been invited Wednesday evening to help Citicorp Plaza hosts and Mayor Tom Bradley open Seventh Market Place, the retail portion of the new downtown business complex at 7th and Figueroa streets.
The three-level mall features a "space frame" and has 67 shops and restaurants. The $75-million, 345,000-square-foot mall, anchored by Bullock's and May Co. department stores, is part of the $600-million Citicorp Plaza, a joint venture of Prudential Insurance and Oxford Properties, which is also project manager.
One of the largest commercial/retail complexes under way in the United States, Citicorp Plaza will eventually have more than 3.7 million square feet of space and include three office towers. One of the towers, the 42-story Citicorp Center, was completed last October and is part of the first phase, along with a parking structure and the mall.
Phase 1 also involved equity partners Citicorp and the law firm of Lillick, McHose & Charles. Both firms maintain offices in Citicorp Center.
Construction is expected to start on Phase 2, the second office tower, during the fourth quarter of this year, but no dates have been set yet for Phase 3, the third tower.
Designed by Jon Jerde of the Jerde Partnership of Los Angeles, the mall will have street vendors with pushcarts and an atrium with a stage for daily entertainment.
A temporary stage is being constructed on another level for the invitation-only celebration on Wednesday, and that's where entertainer Ben Vereen is scheduled to perform with his 18-piece orchestra.
Starting at 7 p.m., the festivities will also feature the Olvera Street Children Dancers, koto music from Japan, Chinese Dragon Dancers and a fireworks display expected to light up the downtown skyline.
Charities to Benefit
Four charitable organizations will benefit from the evening's fare. They are Music Center Unified Fund; Friends of Centro de Ninos; Los Angeles Children's Museum and Los Angeles Partners.
To provide an ethnic touch for evening's occasion, some of the city's landmark restaurants will provide their own specialties. Philippe's will serve french-dip sandwiches, Little Joe's will offer pastas and salads; the Original Pantry will present "home cooking" and Vickman's will offer pastries, pies and cakes.
Public celebrations will begin Thursday with a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 11:30 a.m. From then, until a jazz concert on April 18, special musical and other performances will be held on a daily basis to mark the opening.