Grove Marks Ten Years

| June 1, 2012 | 0 Comments
The Grove at night

MAIN STREET shops. Town clock is far left.

The Grove opened a decade ago with touches of Disneyland, Las Vegas and Old World meets high-tech charm. The combination has been a hit at the “shopping resort,” which today welcomes 18 million visitors annually to high-end retail stores, restaurants and 14-screen movie theatres. Visitors can also take a break in the Town Square or rub elbows with the stars.

Aerosmith recently debuted its world tour under the clock tower, J. Lo and Katy Perry have both launched songs here, and “Extra TV” films its weekday program on the grounds.

Did we mention the shopping… ?

U.K.’s fashion titan TopShop is set to open its West Coast flagship this fall, joining American Girl, Banana Republic and Abercrombie & Fitch, Anthropologie, an Apple store and other heavy hitters among its 24 stores. Umami Burger, the “uber burger in L.A.,” is targeted to open this month, and celebrity chef Gordon Ramsey will turn on the heat at his Fat Cow in September.
“This is the place to be,” said Paul Kurzawa, chief operating officer for Caruso Affiliated Holdings. “One of the great objectives with the tenure is – we have an opportunity to bring in the next generation of new customers,” he added.

Rick Caruso, founder and developer of the Grove, threw a party for its 250 employees on its 10th birthday in March. “As we mark the end of our first decade, we’re still innovating and refreshing The Grove with dynamic new stores, restaurants and entertainment choices. The Grove’s best and brightest days are still to come,” he said.

Among improvements at the 20-acre outdoor mall are remodeling the lobby to rival the city’s five-star hotels, and concierge services will expand to include personal shoppers and stylists.

The eight-story computerized parking garage is slated for the latest in ticketless technology, while the Disneyesque trolley (built by a retired Disney Imagineering employee) travels along First Street, The Grove’s main drag.

Carrying visitors and tourists from around the world from historic Farmers Market at the west end to Nordstrom at the east, the trolley passes turn-of-the last century lamp posts and Italian Renaissance, Art Deco and adobe mission style architecture, reminiscent of an earlier L.A. A tree-lined promenade leads to the Town Square, which features a grassy park and a bridge leading over a pond with a “dancing” fountain modeled after one at Bellagio on the Vegas strip.


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