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Palisades Plaza Design Blends Into Locale

April 05, 1987

Pacific Palisades, which overlooks the ocean, has been overlooked by developers.

That's the view of Paul Gienger, director of development for Topa Management Co. of Los Angeles.

Topa will open its $7.5-million, two-level Palisades Plaza at 15200 Sunset Blvd. on Wednesday. The mixed-use project is almost totally leased.

"Pacific Palisades has emerged as a strategic retailing and office center in the West Los Angeles market," Gienger said.

He adds that Palisades Plaza represented a challenge to create a modest-size commercial project that responded to community desires. "We even changed our original design from brick to a Mediterranean theme because sentiment at community meetings called for it, he said."

Nearly All Leased

All but 1,200 square feet of the project's 30,000 square feet of rentable space--above two levels of subterranean parking for 102 cars--remains to be leased.

Designed by John Kilbane of Santa Monica, Palisades Plaza's theme, accented by vaulted arches and tile roof, is consistent with the village setting of the Palisades commercial sector.

Gienger said that with today's land prices, more neighborhoods will become candidates for high-end development, but warned that the quality of tenants, investment in architecture and related factors should reflect community standards.

Inspiration for the plaza was Topa's restoration, in 1984, of the Santa Monica Land and Water Co. Building, one block west of Palisades Plaza.

Gienger recalls that the water company building, since designated a historical landmark, was destined for demolition after several developer submissions ran into strong community objections.

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