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Nordstrom opens Friday

Fashion Island will be the new home for the retail giant in a 138,000-square-foot space.

April 15, 2010|By Sarah Peters

South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa has long had an edge over Newport Beach’s Fashion Island among some dedicated shoppers: Nordstrom.

That changes Friday, when Nordstrom will unveil its new 138,000-square-foot location at Fashion Island after months of planning and ongoing development.

Not only will the store mean shopping, it is expected to add two things in short supply in the struggling economy: jobs and sales tax revenue for city coffers.

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“When the doors open, we will be providing the community with what they’ve been asking for years, and that’s Nordstrom,” said Laura Davis, Fashion Island’s senior marking director. “It really is going to resonate well with the coastal shopper, who is loyal to Fashion Island.”

The two-level store, while smaller than its counter-part at South Coast Plaza, will contain the “full breadth of what Nordstrom has to offer,” store spokeswoman Kendall Ault said.

In addition to having comparable merchandise, services and eateries, the Fashion Island branch will feature brands in women’s shoes and cosmetics new to the Nordstrom chain, she said in an e-mail.

The new store is expected to draw thousands of new shoppers to the center and six-figure sales tax revenues.

Although an exact figure was not given by store spokespersons, a similar retailer of the same size could generate between $550,000 and $600,000 in annual sales tax, according to Doug Svensson, an economic consultant to the city of Newport Beach.

“Nordstrom has a tremendous following, and we here in the city are absolutely delighted they selected our community to open this store, which will complement Fashion Island nicely,” said Chamber of Commerce President Richard Luehrs.

The arrival of the Nordstrom is one of many new additions under construction at Fashion Island, as part of the Irvine Co.’s $100-million Reinvestment Plan, which is targeted for completion this fall, Davis said.

“We’re dedicated to continuing Fashion Island’s development as the finest costal shopping and dinning experience, so opening Nordstrom, which is one of the nation’s leading retailers coupled with our reinvestment, really highlights our commitment to both Fashion Island and the community,” Davis said.

Nordstrom has a long-standing commitment to promoting local jobs and organizations, Ault said.

The new store has about 300 employees, most of whom are Orange County residents.

 The new Nordstrom joins the center’s other higher-end retailers, such as Neiman Marcus, Bloomingdale’s and Macy’s.

On Wednesday night, as part of its opening week celebration, the store hosted a charity gala to benefit the Orangewood Children’s Foundation and the UC Irvine Medical Center.

The  in-store event was expected to raise more than $150,000, to be shared by the two organizations, Ault said.

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