By Sara Hall | NB Indy
The shopping center on the corner of 32nd and Newport Blvd. on the Peninsula is a-changing.
The lineup of current tenants are leaving this month, a major renovation will be undertaken, and a new lineup of stores will be landing in the spring.
Several new leases already have been signed. The main store in that center for quite some time had been Albertson’s. Its building will soon house another grocery giant: Pavilion’s.
The leases for Albertson’s and the eight other stores will expire on Aug. 31. Leases have already been signed with CrowBurger, Gina’s Pizza, , Newport Nails and Chase Bank. The developer, Catellus, is also in negations with Chipotle.
“(It’s a ) unique situation, where all the leases expire at same time,” said Sean Whiskeman, the local project manager for Catellus. “(It) presents the opportunity to do a complete renovation.”
Catellus, will be adding approximately 6,515 square feet of new retail and restaurant space. There will be a new facade and an update of the common area. All the public areas will see some change as well.
The parking lot will be reconfigured to add 27 spaces, the sidewalk in front of the stores will be widened from five to 15 feet to allow for outdoor seating and other items and the landscaping will be completely redesigned.
“(The sidewalks and other changes will) allow for a more pleasant pedestrian experience,” said Whiskeman.
All the changes and renovations won’t be cheap though.
“The investment is substantial,” said Whiskeman, but the company typically doesn’t give out exact figures, he added.
The new center will be named The Landing.
Construction is scheduled to start during the first part of September, Whiskeman said. The first couple of tenants will open in May of next year and the grand re-opening will be in June, he added. As far as he knows, the current Pavilion’s will stay open until the new one opens.
The 41,363-square-foot shopping center was originally built in 1957 and renovated in 1980, according to Sheahan. The renovation is much needed, Whiskeman said.
“The architecture will change dramatically,” he said. “The façade will have new materials, colors and height… It will be much more architecturally interesting while keeping with the cannery village (character).”
About 84 percent of the existing storefronts have been pre-leased, said Whiskeman. They are tentatively selecting who they lease the last five spaces to, he said. Catellus is in talks with various other retailers and the company hopes to have a coffee shop in the center as well, said Mo Sheahan, a Catellus spokesperson.
Whiskeman said that although there will be a few larger, national chains in the center, they wanted to focus on high-quality, local stores. Two of the stores coming in are local favorites CrowBurger and Gina’s Pizza, which both have locations in Corona del Mar.
“I think we’re off to a great start,” said Whiskeman.
Both restaurants try to be connected with the community and serve the locals.
“We really want to be a neighborhood store,” said Gina’s Pizza owner Andy Costa. “We’ve been in Corona del Mar for 35 years and have had many customers tell us we should open somewhere in Newport. (So it feels) natural to be opening our doors (here).”
One reason Costa decided to open at the center is because the company is really easy to work with and they have similar ideas for the center, he said, to keep it unique and locally driven.
“You always want to make sure that you’re good neighbors,” said The Crow Bar and Kitchen principal owner Steve Geary. “We want to do everything we can for the locals. They’re very important.”
This is obviously a good tourist area as well, Geary said, which should also help the businesses in the center. Costa agreed and said he hoped that customers will be both locals and tourists. But both agreed that the local community is the core of their businesses.
Geary said he definitely likes the idea of the new center and all the upgrades it will bring for local residents. With city hall about to move and that area likely to be renovated, he said, this center is the first step to some much needed improvements to the area.
“Definitely an upgrade from what’s been there for so many years,” Geary said.