The Grove at Farmers Market
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The animated fountains at The Grove
|Location||Los Angeles, California|
|Address||189 The Grove Drive Los Angeles, CA 90036|
|Opening date||February 2002|
|No. of anchor tenants||1|
|Total retail floor area||600,000 sq ft (56,000 m2)|
|No. of floors||3|
The complex fills space previously occupied by an orchard and nursery (the last remains of a dairy farm owned by A.F. Gilmore in the latter part of the 19th century). The developers began demolition of an antiques alley and other older buildings on Third Street behind CBS Television City, and broke ground for the new mall in 1999. There was some controversy over potentially increasing traffic in a busy Los Angeles neighborhood that already offered several other shopping venues, including the Beverly Center. The Grove opened in 2002 and has been an extremely popular outdoor mall ever since.
The history behind the development of the A.F. Gilmore property that eventually became The Grove was not without controversy. In 1984, A.F. Gilmore and neighboring CBS Television City hired Olympia & York California Equities Corp. to look into the possibility of creating a major business and entertainment complex that would have been twice as large as Universal City but would have required the demolition of all existing structures at both Farmers Market and CBS in the process. That plan was not well received by the City of Los Angeles or by its neighbors and the plan was later shelved. Two years later A.F. Gilmore and CBS hired Urban Investment & Development Co. of Chicago to create another development plan.
In 1989, A.F. Gilmore announced that it was going to build a $300 million mall adjacent to the existing Farmers Market and that the new project would be managed by JMB/Urban Development of Chicago. The proposed mall was going to be anchored by May Company California (180,000 sq ft), Nordstrom, and J. W. Robinson's (150,000 sq ft) along with over 100 other stores. Later, the project was scaled down to 2 anchors.
During the next decade, A.F. Gilmore announced a further scaled down plan with Caruso Affiliated as the new development partner for a new proposal that eventually became The Grove at Farmers Market, a $100-million project on 25 acres. Nordstrom signed on in 2001 to build a 122,000 sq ft store. Toy retailer FAO Schwarz also sign on for 25,000 sq ft.
The 575,000-square-foot (53,400 m2) outdoor marketplace is located in Los Angeles' Fairfax District. Caruso Affiliated claims to have modeled its architectural designs on indigenous Los Angeles buildings, influenced by classic historic districts, with shopping alleys, broad plazas, and intimate courtyards. The design features a series of Art Deco-style false fronts, with boxy interiors similar to those found in other contemporary stores.
The Grove features a large center park with an animated fountain designed by WET. Its music-fountain show plays every hour, though the feature has a non-musical program in between shows. The water's choreography is reminiscent of the Fountains of Bellagio in Las Vegas—also designed by WET—but on a much smaller scale. The fountain also has a statue, The Spirit of Los Angeles. Live shows are often performed there, or on the grassy area by the fountains. An internal transit system uses electric-powered trolley cars to link The Grove and the adjacent Farmers Market.
Shops and restaurants
The Grove is anchored by both Nordstrom and Crate & Barrel, and has flagship stores for British fashion chain Topshop/Topman, Abercrombie and Fitch, Barnes & Noble, and Apple. Other stores in the center include Michael Kors, two-storey GAP and J.Crew locations, Nike, MAC Cosmetics, COACH, Anthropologie, Barneys New York CO-OP, Kiehl's, Forever 21 and American Girl Place.
The Grove's many restaurants include chains like Maggiano's Little Italy and The Cheesecake Factory as well as smaller, local restaurants like Wood Ranch BBQ and Grill, Morels French Steakhouse, The Whisper Lounge, and La Piazza, as well as the upcoming Gordon Ramsay restaurant, The Fat Cow. The Original Farmers Market, located adjacent to The Grove and owned by the A.F. Gilmore Company, features numerous non-chain restaurants that have existed there for sometimes decades.
During the Christmas shopping season, fake snow is produced periodically during the night. In mid-November, the Grove Christmas Tree goes up. At 110 feet, it is the tallest Christmas tree in the city of Los Angeles.
- "Hate to See Farmers Market Go, but..." Los Angeles Times, March 29, 1984, Page WS1. Link via ProQuest.
- "Redevelopment of CBS, Farmers Market Studied". Los Angeles Times, May 11, 1986.
- "2 Big Retailers to Anchor Mall at Farmers Market : Decision by Nordstrom, May Co. Stirs Up Concerns Over Increased Traffic". Los Angeles Times, October 10, 1989.
- "Robinson's to Join in Farmers Market Mall". Los Angeles Times, November 16, 1989.
- "Project at Farmers Market Endorsed : Development: A city planner rules that the scaled-down version can go ahead despite potentially negative effects. It would include two department stores and senior housing". Los Angeles Times, November 14, 1990.
- "Farmers Market to Unveil New Development". Los Angeles Times, May 22, 1998.
- "The Grove to Include Schwarz, Nordstrom". Los Angeles Times, March 13, 2001.