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Redesigned Fairplex Project Stresses Small-Town Look

May 25, 1999|BOB HOWARD

The Los Angeles County Fair Assn. and its development team have unveiled a revamped design for a $100-million shopping and entertainment center at the 487-acre Fairplex in Pomona, site of the Los Angeles County Fair.

Officials said the project, tentatively called Fairplex Village, has been redesigned extensively "to better meet the needs and tastes of the local community" as reflected in public hearings and community meetings.

In addition, the Beverly Hills office of Cincinnati-based Madison Marquette has joined Fairplex and Upland-based Lewis Retail Centers to jointly develop, own and operate the project.

The new plans call for "a contemporary entertainment and retail center with the charm of a small-town village," to be designed by Los Angeles architects Orne & Associates, according to the developers' announcement. They said the new design will be more pedestrian-friendly, with smaller streets, more and smaller parking lots, more and smaller retail stores and other features that differ significantly from the previous proposal, which was called Paradise Park.

The new plans include an 87,000-square-foot multiplex theater, 50,000 square feet of restaurants, a 76,000-square-foot ice skating rink, 110,000 square feet of entertainment space, 120,000 square feet of retail anchors and 107,000 square feet of retail shops. The project is beginning an environmental impact review and permit approval process with the city of Pomona. Developers hope to begin construction by June 2000 and finish by August 2001.

Madison Marquette recently completed the Gardens on El Paseo in Palm Desert, part of a 2.5-million-square-foot portfolio of retail centers the company owns in addition to managing 20 million square feet of retail projects, including Fashion Island in Newport Beach. Lewis Retail Centers, a division of Lewis Operating Corp., develops shopping centers in the West and manages more than 2.5 million square feet of retail, office and industrial space.

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