Renovation is emerging as an inevitable trend for Southern California's older shopping and retail centers as seen in the newest expansion and redesign of the highly successful South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa.
The $5.5-million Jewel Court addition, due for completion by Christmas, introduces an element of vertical shopping to the mall, requiring an entirely new escalator system and a "Space Frame Skylight," with sandblasted glass blocks to create a point of interest and to make use of natural light.
Incorporating the use of existing escalators also makes the newly created third level of the mall accessible from more than one mall location, including all three levels of the new, adjacent Nordstrom store and the covered pedestrian bridge linking the recently completed 1,400-space parking structure.
Architect for the Jewel Court wing, the Feola Deenihan Partnership of Glendale, has selected a design style and materials that will blend with the existing mall. The intent is to continue to communicate a feeling of "quiet elegance," with the addition of travertine marble flooring and planters to complement individual designs for specific tenants.
An innovative feature in redesigning the mall is the introduction of theatrical lighting under the direction of Tom Ruzika. Consult-
ing engineers are Brandow & Johnston, structural, Los Angeles; C. T. Engineering, electrical, Los Angeles; Engineered Automation Systems Inc., mechanical, Tustin, and Paul Bennett Inc., plumbing, Encino. The necessity to provide public access to Nordstrom during the five-month construction period was particularly challenging, according to David Grant, director of operations for South Coast Plaza.
The Jewel Court addition took over an existing 130,000 square feet of the vacated department store space that will now accommodate 30 specialty stores, replete with skylights, marble floors, brass balustrades and escalators to all floors.
A total of 60% of the almost 90,000 square feet is leased, and retail center owner/developer C. J. Segerstrom & Sons is in final negotiations with other retailers for another 20%.
Bob Oman, city finance director for Costa Mesa, says that the South Coast Plaza accounts for 14% of the city's total operating budget, but that that number more than likely will be increased to 21% by the next decade.