Friday, January 16, 2009

Larkspur Landing lands a new owner

As reported by Globe, Larkspur Landing Shopping Center has been sold to JS Rosenfield & Co for $65 million.

Rosenfield aims to reposition the center along the lines of a "Country Mart", which is a concept based on the Brentwood Country Mart in Los Angeles:

"The key to the success of the country mart concept is its welcoming environment with its exceptional public spaces, essential local services, restaurants and extraordinary boutique shops,” says Rosenfeld & Co principal James Rosenfield. “But what sets the country mart apart from other retail concepts is the architecture that takes into consideration the human scale, something that has been largely forgotten in the monumental focus of today's malls and large retail centers."

The Brentwood Country Mart (pictured above) is a nostalgic small-town style mall that contains some of the most exclusive boutiques in LA. It has been a major celeb-spotting destination for many years, with Joan Crawford and Elizabeth Taylor being two of the regular vistors in years gone by. According to the excellent website, you are likely to spot the likes of Steven Spielberg, Tom Hanks, Reese Witherspoon and OJ Simpson (currently residing elsewhere) wandering in and out of the stores.
As we commented in our Larkspur Landing post last year, there is certainly plenty of room for improvement in the center, and plenty of vacant and under-used space for the new owners to work with.
The key question is whether the center can provide anything that is not already available in the area, either at Bon Air, the Corte Madera Town Center or The Village, all of which are located within a mile of Larkspur Landing and already offer the kind of small-scale, up-market experience that the new owners are proposing?

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