Real Deal Says Caruso Working Towards Upscale Shift with Palisades Mall

Madewell closed in Palisades Village and will be replaced by a more upscale tenant.

Caruso is reworking its tenant profile at Palisades Village to attract higher end brands, according to a April 22 Real Deal story.

Many residents may remember a December 2018 Hollywood Reporter story (“Rick Caruso’s New Pacific Palisades Mall Already Breaking Retail Records, He Says”) noted that although the mall had been open for only two months, it was a runaway success.

Caruso told THR that “the sales being produced out of this property are the best in the country per square foot.” He also noted that he had signed many of his hand-picked tenants to long-term leases, including jeweler Jennifer Meyer, Zoe and Tamara Mellon. (Zoe has since closed.)

The billionaire developer, who is now running for Mayor of Los Angeles, was quoted: “Everything is rolling out as I hoped. It’s an exceptional success.”

This past week, The Read Deal newsletter reported (“Caruso Buys Out Leases in Upscale Shift at Palisades Village”) that “Caruso is reworking its tenant profile at Palisades Village, in an effort to attract higher end brands.”

The story noted that each lease is for stores between 1,000 to 2,000 square feet. “Exiting the center via buyouts will be shops for clothing bands Madewell and William B + Friends, as well as homewares retailer St. Franks.”

Higher end? Move over Sephora Studio and Chanel because Byredo, a European luxury brand founded in Stockholm in 2006 by Ben Corham will “translate memories and emotions into product and experiences.”  Offering upscale options, the store will sell mascara for $46, hand lotion for $75 and perfume for $196, according to its website.

Also moving in will be Aesop, which also offers skin care, body and hand, and fragrance. Aesop’s Miraceti Eau de Parfum, which is suited to all genders, seafarers, storytellers and idealists is $195 for a 50 mil. size. A 16.9 fl. ounce size of Reverence aromatique hand wash, in a bottle made from a minimum of 97 percent recycled plastic, is $40.

Also new: The Officine General, which was founded in Saint-Germain-Des-Pres in 2012 by Pierre Mahéo, has clothing for men and women, and also recycled denim. A recycled cotton twill jacket retails for $460 and recycled cotton twill Corie pants are $315. Women’s regular denim pants are $195, and men can pick up a T-shirt of lightweight French linen for just $160 or a cotton sweatshirt for $180.

In May 2021, Glossy reported that “The brand [OFFICINE GENERAL] will open two stores in New York this year and one in Los Angeles next year, with plans to open 10 total stores across the U.S. and other regions in the next three years. That’s in addition to the six stores it already has in Paris and London. Mahéo said he wants to expand the brand to other parts of Europe, including Germany, where it already has a wholesale and online customer. It’s looking to partner with a distribution company like LF Corporation to enter China, as well.”

Councilman Mike Bonin (left) and developer Rick Caruso at Palisades Village ground project’s groundbreaking in 2016.
Photo: Bart Bartholomew

Back in 2019, a local resident sent a letter to Circling the News explaining what residents wanted in this town:

“Pacific Palisades has always been a place for families. Parents come here for the schools, and they come here because they know they will be around like-minded people who value education and community.

We raise our children. As our children grow and go onto their own lives, the Palisades becomes a place for retirees. And, we still know each other and enjoy each other’s company.

It would seem that if someone were to develop a mall for this area, he/she would understand that the focus here is family.

Not everyone who lives in Pacific Palisades can afford ultra-expensive clothes or jewelry. And for many people, even if they have the money, they don’t feel the need to buy more clothing because of environmental concerns. Too much clothing ends up in landfills–and now it has been discovered that plastic fibers from clothing (that is not cotton or wool), may work its way into the ocean.

I hope the mall makes it, because we already know what it is like to have a street with empty stores.

We didn’t ask for grass that was dyed green or a scent sprayed in the mall and garage area. We didn’t ask for a $75 photo with a man in a bunny suit. Mr. Caruso, you asked what we wanted, and we told you, but you never listened.”



This entry was posted in businesses/stores, City/Councilman Mike Bonin. Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to Real Deal Says Caruso Working Towards Upscale Shift with Palisades Mall

  1. Julie Hanner says:

    This is why he should not be mayor. This man can’t “read the room”.

  2. Karin Olson-Espinosa says:

    Wow….Caruso has once again misunderstood what this community needs/wants. History is the most predictive of the future sadly.

  3. Sandy says:

    It’s unfortunate for the Palisades that Caruso not only has ignored his commitment to have locally owned small businesses in his shopping center but also is catering to a very small segment of our community. He is more interested in making his shopping center a destination for the rich and famous. Madewell was the one store that I and many others shopped in frequently. Too low end for him. He clearly doesn’t get it that many Palisadians shop at Costco and Target because there is very little that is affordable in town.

  4. Len Kleinman says:

    Well, who is CTN supporting for mayor?

    If you take no position, de facto, you’re supporting Caruso.

    Are you going to try to bell the cat?

  5. Lifelong Palisadian says:

    Palisades Village isn’t bougie enough already?

    Or is this just the beginning of the spin if more tenants finally throw in the towel as the mall reaches its fifth birthday in September?

    Will See’s and McConnell’s be the next to go? Maybe that rumor about See’s departing the mall will come to pass after all.

    When William B closed last May, Caruso’s own website said the store was “closed temporarily”. Nothing was said then about the tenant departing or being replaced, in a space that still hasn’t reopened nearly a year later.

    Aside from losing other businesses in the Palisades as landlords raise rents and oust “undesirable” tenants (including Cathay Palisades) in their attempts to emulate Caruso, how unfortunate will it be in 17 years when the Gelson’s lease expires? That property was sold for a staggering $51,000,000 in 2019, (a price no doubt impacted by Palisades Village®) in a deal which included a 20 year lease. Surely the local Gelson’s won’t remain as it is when that lease is up.

    Remember how Caruso presented his proposed development to the community? From a March 13, 2018 article in the L.A. Times:

    “The developer said his goal is to create a range of options for people to dine at different price points and hang out in a quaint commercial district with the flavor of an old resort town. He started choosing tenants after holding public meetings to see what the neighbors wanted. “Localism is a huge trend in retail right now,” he said. “People want something close to home that serves them.””

    Yeah, he said “People want something close to home that serves them.”

    As for running for Mayor, it doesn’t matter that he has a mega-yacht or buys his neighbors out to expand his compound in Brentwood, etc., etc. However after seeing all that has transpired with Palisades Village®, it’s clear that his actions don’t match his words.  So good luck being Mayor. If a guy from Brentwood can’t understand the Palisades, what chance is there of him understanding the rest of Los Angeles?

  6. Sue says:

    CTN is not supporting anyone for mayor, City Councilperson or L.A. County Supervisor. There are a few people running for City Controller and the City Attorney’s office that are scary, but this editor thinks that residents who do their homework will make a good decision.

    CTN warns against name recognition as a reason for voting for someone.

  7. craig Fischer says:

    Going to Caruso’s Mall is like being trapped in an old elitist and racist Slim Atwell photo. Not a person of color in sight, and very few Palisadians. This is a playground for recently arrived folks driving from Beverly Hills to grimace at each others bling.

  8. Murray Levy says:

    All the chatter about the kind of shops Mr. Caruso is bringing to the Palisades Village reminds me of a famous line from the Pogo strip, “we have met the enemy and he is us.” Mr. Caruso is a hugely successful businessman — he supports the community through his philanthropy but the goal of his business, like any business, is to maximize profits. We will choose whether a shop succeeds or fails by voting with our money. I don’t think that Palisades Village is attracting a whole lot of people from outside the Palisades so if a mall filled with high end shops and expensive restaurants is successful its a result of our patronage.

  9. Diane Waingrow says:

    Mr. Caruso, even if you are successfully catering to a small percentage of Palisadians who can afford it, and your accounting indicates that the development is “an exceptional success,” is promoting this elitism the right and moral thing to do given the state of our city?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *