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Segerstrom to Reveal Mall Plans Today in N.Y. Press Conference

July 23, 1986|LESLIE BERKMAN | Times Staff Writer

After creating a great deal of speculation about its plans by insisting on unveiling them 3,000 miles away from its home base in Costa Mesa, C.J. Segerstrom & Sons today will finally say what's new in the works for its expansion of South Coast Plaza--possibly by naming a number of fashionable boutiques to open at the huge mall.

The idea of staging the announcement at New York's Helmsley Palace hotel on Madison Avenue has generated speculation that the Southern California mall might be importing a glamorous New York retailing institution. A local newspaper columnist even suggested that Bloomingdale's might be Segerstrom's latest catch.

However, Jim Scellonick, senior vice president of Cincinnati-based Federated Department Stores, which owns Bloomingdale's, emphatically denied that Bloomies is opening a sister store at South Coast Plaza.

Scellonick said such a step would be illogical because it would pit Bloomingdale's against Bullock's, another Federated store. Bullock's already is a key tenant at South Coast Plaza and is in the midst of a major expansion.

An editor for a major New York-based fashion publication, who asked to remain anonymous, said she doesn't expect big news from the press conference. "I don't think it is earth-shattering," she said.

Maura Eggan, South Coast Plaza's director of marketing, would say only that the announcement to be made at today's press conference will have to do with the expansion under way on 17.8 acres to the west of the existing mall. The 685,000-square-foot expansion includes Broadway and Robinson's department stores and room for about 70 specialty shops.

An executive of a retailing competitor of South Coast Plaza said Tuesday that he had information that Segerstrom has traveled to New York to name a number of boutiques that will move into the new mall space or into space in the existing mall vacated by Nordstrom when that store transferred to a larger building.

He said he believes that Segerstrom is conducting the press conference in New York in hope of luring broader media coverage.

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