NEWPORT BEACH — Thursday's grand opening of the Pavilions on the Balboa Peninsula marked the return of customer spending at a nearly all-new shopping center.
The somewhat-shabby shopping plaza at 32nd Street and Newport Boulevard underwent a transformation when major leases, including the long-standing Albertson's and community favorites Rice Land restaurant and Let It Roll bike shop, ran out in late summer.
The owner and developer of the property, Catellus, used the opportunity to reinvent the plaza as an upscale shopping center and redubbed it The Landing, said company spokesman Sean Whiskeman.
The 27,598 square-foot Pavilions, which features a full service deli, bakery, expanded produce, grocery, meat and seafood departments, alcohol, ATM and general merchandise, will be he center's anchor tenant. The Pavilions is the second full-service grocer on the Peninsula; the other, also a Pavilions in nearby Lido Village, is slated to close sometime this summer.
"Going into this, we were very focused on making sure that the tenant line-up serves the community," Whiskeman said. "We did a lot of research to understand the area, and we feel that it does a good job accomplishing that."