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VALLEY AND VENTURA COUNTY | VENTURA COUNTY REVIEW /
LEO SMITH

Redesign Completed, Expansion Planned at Shopping Centers

March 31, 1998|LEO SMITH | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

Last summer, Camarillo Plaza got a fresh coat of paint.

In the fall, plants, benches, children's art tiles and other accessories began to arrive. A clock, fountain, gazebo and glass pyramid soon followed at the 11-year-old shopping complex.

Ondule' Salon and Spa, a larger and more upscale version of Jamie's Hair Design, opened for business, and The Habit, the third restaurant in the Hamburger Habit chain, revved up its kitchen.

Finally, last week, Humax West, the Marina del Rey management company that owns and operates the site, officially unveiled the redesigned Camarillo Plaza project.

"We've tried to add artistic elements throughout and hope to continue doing so," said Donna Kalinske, Humax's marketing manager for the site. "We wanted to put an added spark in the community, have a warm, comfortable place for people to come to. Camarillo is growing and changing, and we think this is the time to do this."

The plaza's debut came several days after an announcement by the Camarillo Premium Outlets center, the city's predominant retail hub, that a Nike outlet will anchor the site's fourth phase of shops. The latest phase is the final addition to the center.

Construction is set to begin this month on the 45,000-square-foot section, with completion expected by early fall. The additional 11 stores will bring the center to 115 stores occupying 410,000 square feet.

"Nike is one of the brands we work with that has proven to be an excellent part of our merchant mix," said Michele Rothstein, vice president of marketing for New Jersey-based Chelsea GCA Realty, owner and operator of the Camarillo outlets and 19 other factory outlet centers in 11 states. "They are already in our center in Cabazon. They already have a track record with us. Our job is to bring in the brands that have an identity and credibility."

Leasing arrangements are being completed for the remaining vacant space, Rothstein said.

"We really just want to continue to round out the mix with some sportswear, children's wear, and we have some home products," she said.

While officials of Camarillo Premium Outlets are actively seeking 100% occupancy, so are the owners of the 75,000-square-foot Camarillo Plaza. Kalinske said 15% to 20% of the space remains to be filled.

The center's tenants include Baja Fresh, Presto Pasta, All City Software and The Club fitness center. Like their counterparts at Camarillo Premium Outlets, the owners of the plaza would like to round out their tenant selection.

"We are actively looking for a [tenant] near the fountain--we would really like to have a nice cafe, a sit-down dinner place that would have music in the evenings," Kalinske said. "We want to give back to the community by providing a stage for events. I don't believe a lot of shopping centers do that."

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