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Transformation Of Laguna Hills Mall Begins



The new development known as Five Lagunas will span 926,00 square feet and feature an urban village concept.
A massive redevelopment of the venerable Laguna Hills Mall in California has been in the planning stages for some time, and ground has finally been broken on what will be an exciting mixed-use concept. According to The Orange County Register, the new development known as Five Lagunas will span 926,00 square feet and feature an urban village concept. 

The redevelopment is a welcome sign for residents, stakeholders and community officials, as the aging Laguna Hills Mall was at a minimum in need of a serious facelift. 

“I believe Five Lagunas will benefit not only Laguna Hills but the entire area. It will enhance the image of the city in many ways. It will provide jobs, walk-to-work environment, needed housing, desirable restaurants and a new, vibrant community gathering space,” said Councilman Dore Gilbert. 

The mall was constructed in 1973.  It has seen some cosmetic work along the way, but the structures on the property have aged considerably. That’s led to a rise in vacancy rates, and only 40 retailers currently make their home there. Merlone Geier Properties purchased Laguna Hills from Simon Properties in 2013, and began a three-year process towards the redevelopment project, which was approved by the City Council in March. 

Laguna Hills Mall

It’s an ambitious project that will build on the live, work and play concept that has been popping up in mixed-use developments across the nation. Plans call for roughly 1,000 luxury apartments, a movie theater, indoor and outdoor shopping and dining, a redesign of the mall interior and department store facades, and an ample amount of parking in anticipation of the expected bounce in traffic. 

“This will make the community an even more attractive place to live, work, shop and be entertained. It’s a giant step in moving forward the city’s vision of an urban village to improve the quality of life,” commented Steve Geidt, CEO of the nearby Saddleback Memorial Medical Center. 

There will be amenities and community benefits galore in the new development as well, including a pedestrian-friendly promenade, a fitness center, and a park with a one-acre lake. The movie theater will feature a whopping 14 luxury screens, and that should be enough to draw in plenty of traffic on its own. The first stores at Five Lagunas are expected to deliver in Summer 2018, while the luxury apartments are on tap for the project’s second phase. Current anchors Macy’s, Nordstrom Rack and JCPenney have signed on to remain at the new development, as have restaurants including California Pizza Kitchen and Ruby’s Diner. 

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