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Orange County

Spectrum Plans to Widen Its Appeal

Nordstrom and Target will add stores at the Irvine Spectrum in 2005 and '06, respectively. Extra parking is also in the works.

September 04, 2003|Daniel Yi | Times Staff Writer

The Irvine Spectrum Center, south Orange County's largest shopping and entertainment complex, will add two major retailers and extra parking in the next three years, the mall's owner announced Wednesday.

A 125,000-square-foot Nordstrom is scheduled to open in late 2005, and a 135,000-square-foot Target will follow the year after, Irvine Co. officials said.

The center, near the junction of the San Diego and Santa Ana freeways, has evolved into a popular leisure destination. About 10 million people visit the Spectrum every year.

Company officials attribute part of the Spectrum's success to the region's housing boom in recent years. Irvine's population has grown by nearly a third in the last five years, to 165,000.

The Spectrum's popularity has meant more traffic and a dearth of parking spaces during peak hours.

To ease the crunch, the mall offers valet service and shuttle transportation from its vast parking lots.

One of the new parking structures, which will have spaces for 2,700 cars, will be built next to the 21-screen Edwards cinema complex.

Another structure for 1,000 cars will be built at the mall's western end.

The additional parking will be completed in two years, company officials said.

The stores and parking structures will be built on existing parking lots, but the number of spaces will increase by 1,800, company officials said.

Construction will begin this year.

The Irvine Spectrum Center opened in 1995 with movie theaters, a food court and shops.

It has since grown to more than 100 stores, including clothing retailers, specialty shops, bookstores and restaurants.

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