South Coast Plaza is a shopping center in Costa Mesa, California. It was the largest shopping center on America’s West Coast. The mall’s pre-COVID sales were over $1.5 billion per year, making it the most successful in the country. The largest concentration of fashion retailers in America is found here with 275 stores. It has the second highest sales volume in California, at $800 per square feet ($8,600/m2). This is only behind Westfield Valley Fair in San Jose, California, which sells at $809 per sqft ($8,710/m2). The national average is $411/square foot ($4,420/m2). Three Macy’s stores are the anchor of the mall, along with Nordstrom, Bloomingdale’s and Saks Fifth Avenue. The South Coast Plaza is California’s largest shopping center and 4th largest in America.
The Segerstrom family was founded in March 1967 by Harold T. Segerstrom Jr. and Henry Segerstrom. It was located in the Orange County lima bean field, which is rapidly growing, as “South Coast Plaza”. Victor Gruen designed the first phase of the center, which was originally anchored by the May Company that opened in late 1966 and Sears. It was constructed in the same year that The Irvine Company’s Fashion Island in Newport Beach.
The Crystal Court section of South Coast Plaza, Costa Mesa, during the holiday season
Rapid expansion was a result of the center’s success: an additional wing was added with Bullock’s in 1973 and I. Magnin 1977. Nordstrom opened in 1978. Saks Fifth Avenue opened in 1979. It is considered a landmark event because it was the Nordstrom’s first store outside of the Pacific Northwest. This opened the West Coast to the expansion of the chain.
The center opened its biggest expansion in 1986. Nordstrom replaced its store in May with a larger location. In the fall, a new wing was added across Bear Street called “Crystal Court”. It was anchored by J. W. Robinson’s and The Broadway. The two stores were anchors of Fashion Island but were willing cannibalize the sales at that location because of South Coast Plaza’s strong draw power. This marked the rise of South Coast Plaza from a regional shopping centre to a major shopping destination. In fall 1987, the expansion was continued with Bullock’s opening and the redevelopment at the former Nordstrom to provide additional center space. This included a Tiffany’s which opened in fall 1988. The standalone Crystal Court wing did not perform as well as its predecessor. This was due to both land restrictions and The Broadway’s refusal to let each other build stores at their centers. This explains why there are so many malls in Southern California.
Newport Bay Dental
Orange County Museum of Art