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Merlone-Geier Partners (MGP), the owner of the former Laguna Hills Mall, has announced that it is taking a strategic pause in the redevelopment of the former Laguna Hills Mall. This action by MGP was prompted by their recent buy out of the Macy’s leasehold interest. The City approved a site plan in March of 2016 that included over 880,000 square feet of commercial space including a 14-screen luxury theater, health club, restaurants, and retail shops. The approval also included 988 luxury residential apartment units. Since the 2016 approval, MGP has completed parking lot renovations in front of Nordstrom Rack, relocated Ruby’s into a new 6,000 square foot shop space, and completed another 6,000 square foot space for Subway. Significant portions of the in-ground utility infrastructure were also completed.
With the recent acquisition of the Macy’s lease, and the announcement by Macy’s that it will be closing its Laguna Hills location in early 2018, Merlone-Geier is now “shifting around portions of the site plan” to “take advantage of a new opportunity” and “address recent trends that we are seeing take place in the market,” according to Vice President of Development Stephen Logan. Mr. Logan also stated that MGP “will release a new construction completion date in the near future” and that “MGP is fully committed to the redevelopment of Five Lagunas and we are excited at the prospect of announcing our plans shortly.” City staff expects to receive a new project plan early next year. In the meantime, the existing stores and restaurants would greatly benefit from, and appreciate, your continued patronage. Information about future changes will be posted on the City’s website under “Current Planning Projects” when they become available.