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Caruso wins OK for new mall at racetrack

The developer's 830,000-square-foot project will be built next to Santa Anita.

April 18, 2007|Cara Mia DiMassa | Times Staff Writer

The Arcadia City Council on Tuesday approved developer Rick Caruso's plan to build a huge shopping mall next to the Santa Anita racetrack.

Caruso's The Shops at Santa Anita would create nearly 830,000 square feet of commercial, retail and office development on the southern parking lot of the racetrack, with about nine acres of open space and a wireless trolley.

"After more than two years of working with Arcadia leaders and residents to develop a proposal that will help meet the community's needs, we are very excited to have the City Council's approval," Caruso said in a statement. "We look forward to breaking ground on the project soon so that Arcadia can begin to benefit from the project's sales tax revenue and features such as the community performing arts center and school district office space."

The plan, announced in May 2004, has been opposed by Arcadia First!, a group backed in part by the Westfield Group, which owns nearby Westfield Santa Anita mall.

The group mounted letter-writing campaigns, took out advertisements in local papers and distributed fliers to Arcadia residents. Caruso mounted his own fight, contending that Westfield's opposition was anti-competitive.

A similar battle occurred in Glendale over Caruso's plans for an outdoor shopping center near the Glendale Galleria. That project eventually got the green light directly from Glendale voters in 2004 and is nearing completion.

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caradimassa@latimes.com

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