A Newport Beach developer plans to remodel and expand the Citadel Outlets shopping center, a former tire factory along the Santa Ana Freeway in Commerce that looks like an Assyrian temple.
Craig Realty Group has assumed management of Citadel Outlets and has six months to negotiate a deal to buy the center from the city for about $50 million.
The 147,000-square-foot outlet center, about nine miles southeast of downtown Los Angeles, includes 42 stores on a site originally built as a Samson Tire & Rubber Co. plant, later operated by Uniroyal, and converted to an outlet mall 10 years ago.
Craig's plan would expand the center by 100,000 square feet, adding 18 to 23 new stores by summer 2003 and creating a new look for the interior along with a new entrance and parking layout.
The remodeling would preserve the Citadel's 22-foot-high wall, which the city designated a cultural landmark in the early 1980s, said Raymond Ramirez, assistant director of community development for Commerce. The wall, which runs a third of a mile along the freeway, features bas-relief griffins, winged genies and warriors in chariots in a design inspired by ancient Assyria.
The city has been looking for a developer to remodel and expand the outlet center, which has become dated.
Commerce chose to negotiate exclusively with Craig, Ramirez said, because of the firm's reputation and experience developing and operating outlet centers.
Craig operates five outlet centers on the West Coast, including Carlsbad Company Stores in Carlsbad and Cabazon Outlets near Palm Springs.