A $400 million outlet mall at the confluence of the 405 and 110 freeways on a former landfill will transform Carson into a regional retail destination, municipal officials predicted Tuesday, Aug. 13, at a ceremonial groundbreaking for the much-anticipated Los Angeles Premium Outlets.
Despite the event, work is already under way on the 46-acre site, which is expected to provide 1,700 construction jobs and 1,800 permanent ones when complete, city officials said.
A 400,000-square-foot phase one is expected to open in time for the 2021 holiday season. An additional 166,000-square-feet of retail space will be developed later.
Municipal officials had long hoped to redevelop the entire 157-acre landfill site.
In a 1968 newspaper article Mayor Al Robles referred to at the ceremony, officials were quoted as optimistically saying they believed that could happen in as little as three years. Carson’s 24 former landfills and 76 junkyards had earned the community the title of “garbage can of Los Angeles County,” the article observed.
But a series of failed development proposals – including most recently no fewer than three separate proposed NFL stadiums – swallowed millions in private investment over the last 50 years. Still, Carson emerged from those final sporting failures with ownership of the site “free and clear,” literally paving the way to redevelop the contaminated tract, Robles said.
“I don’t think many people appreciate the depth of complexity in developing this particular site,” he said, adding that the sheer size of the landfill and its close proximity to homes provided further complications.
“After many, many broken promises and shattered dreams, today the development of this site becomes a reality,” he added.
Negotiations are under way to develop the remainder of the old garbage dump, with as many as two hotels under consideration.
Still, the magnitude and cost of the clean-up has proved a considerable obstacle over the years.
Javier Hinojosa, local branch chief of the state Department of Toxic Substances Control, said Tuesday the department has worked to rehabilitate the site for for 33 years, including two separate clean-up plans. On-site remediation began in 2002.
A $5 million state grant in voter-approved funding designated to rehabilitate brown fields was also tapped, said Renee Webster-Hawkins, executive director of the California Pollution Control Financing Authority.
“This project is at the pinnacle of how a local community uses its incentives and truly transforms their community,” she said. “You’ve really set the bar high for what our brown fields program can accomplish.”
Garrett Newland, senior vice president of development for Santa Monica-based mall operator Macerich, which has partnered on the project with Simon Property Group, the nation’s top mall owner, said the lack of outlet mall competition in the area coupled with the sheer number of people driving by the site daily makes it attractive.
The mall, which will be built raised above ground level parking to eliminate the need for parking structures, boasts 2,500-feet of highly-visible prime freeway frontage.
And unlike the now-broken model of enclosed suburban malls, super-regional outlet malls that attract shoppers from a far larger area are thriving, Newland added.
“It’s one of the largest, final, developable parcels on the 405 freeway,” he said of the tract. “Between the two freeways here you have close to a half million cars passing by this site every single day.
“Brick and mortar going away is just not true,” he added. “The better models that are well-positioned are going to be here for a long time.”
Tenants will be announced 12 to 18 months before the outlet mall opens.
Read the article online at the Daily Breeze: https://www.dailybreeze.com/2019/08/13/how-a-carson-landfill-will-finally-morph-into-a-400m-regional-outlet-mall/