Thursday, April 19, 2007

Downtown Plaza Announcement

Firm hired for Downtown Plaza remodel
Published 12:00 am PDT Thursday, April 19, 2007

The owner of Downtown Plaza has hired one of the country's largest architectural firms to help redesign the aging mall.

Seattle-based Callison will be charged with designing a mall "more vibrant, friendly and attractive for our shoppers and retailers," Larry Green, senior vice president for Westfield Corp., said in a news release.

Callison, with a reputation for working in downtown urban centers, has worked on Ala Moana Shopping Center in Honolulu, Harrods White Hall in London, and Skymart at Chek Lap Kok in Hong Kong, according to Westfield.

City Councilman Rob Fong said Wednesday the announcement means Westfield is serious about plans to revamp Downtown Plaza.

Westfield has yet to submit an updated redevelopment application to the city, Fong said. As part of its application, Westfield will show how it can enhance its plans if a city subsidy is provided, Fong said.

Westfield officials have said a renovated mall will include a Target, a grocery store, an improved food court and an expanded movie complex with an eye-catching entrance on J Street.

-- Terri Hardy