Malibu Village begins

This rendering depicts the future look of Malibu Village, which last week began a $4 million renovation scheduled to reach completion in January 2011. The shopping center’s exterior will be replaced by wood storefronts, creating a style reminiscent of the Hamptons, a coastal getaway region of New York.

$4 million renovation

The long-awaited restoration is scheduled for completion in January 2011.

By Olivia Damavandi / Assistant Editor

After more than a year of anticipation, Malibu Village last week commenced its $4 million renovation.

The reconstruction of the L-shaped shopping center, located across from Malibu Country Mart and formally known as Cross Creek Plaza, is expected to reach completion in January 2011.

“We’re redoing the entire facade and the landscaping,” Malibu Village co-owner Pouya Abdi said Monday in a telephone interview.

The plans call for the subdivision of some store spaces, which will make them more affordable and give them more of a boutique feel, Abdi said. The shopping center’s exterior will be replaced by wood storefronts.

New landscaping includes the addition of three green areas-one of which will be located in the back of the shopping center near the creek-equipped with lounge chairs and suitable for picnicking.

“The previous owner always had his back to the creek, and the creek is an amazing part of the shopping center that we want to utilize,” Abdi said.

While Abdi remains confident that the long-awaited renovation will infuse new life into the mostly vacant strip mall, questions have been raised over whether the construction will affect the public’s accessibility to existing stores.

“The construction will make things a little more inconvenient but you’ll still be able to get into every store,” Abdi said. “As scaffolding goes up, we’re leaving open space in front of the store doors so people can access them more easily.”

“The center has been boarded up for so long, it’s only going to help us once construction is finished,” Yosslowitz said Monday in a telephone interview. “We’re just very grateful that the locals of Malibu are very loyal to us. It’s going to be an amazing improvement if they get the right tenants.”

In addition to Super Care Drugs, which is moving to the city-owned building at the corner of Pacific Coast Highway and Webb Way, longtime tenants that have left Malibu Village during the past two years due to rising rent include the Mexican restaurant Casa Escobar, Malibu Pet Headquarters, Salon at Malibu Creek, Pritchett-Rapf Realty, Malibu Ballet Studio (which relocated to the now city-owned Malibu Performing Arts Center) and Malibu Beach Club.

Abdi on Monday listed four tenants scheduled to open at Malibu Village in the upcoming months: Grom gelato shop in part of the space formerly occupied by Pet Headquarters; a Levi’s jeans store in the space that housed Salon at Malibu Creek; and Terricone, a high end skin care company, in a portion of the space that housed Casa Escobar. Missoni, a high end clothing store, is also slated to open at the old Ben & Jerry’s location next to the Hollywood Theater.