Long Beach's Longest Awaited Shopping Center
The newest shopping center on 2nd and PCH has been awaited for years now; there were signs going up back in 2018. This was largely anticipated as it is located directly on a prime piece of real estate and said to bridge Seal Beach and Long Beach, subsequently bridging Orange County and Los Angeles County. However, the date got slowly more and more delayed as construction took even longer than anticipated, and people began losing interest. It finally opened October 23, 2020 months after their initial deadline. The shopping center could be considered a bust currently, as there are many spaces left bare and waiting to be filled. There are few actual restaurants, which is disappointing as the concept art had it appearing to be full of places to eat. Now there are only about three places to eat an actual meal.
The actual stores there are relatively trendy, with stores such as Lululemon, Free People, Sephora, and an Amazon 4-tar store. However, many are bothered by the price of these stores, as they are not inclusive. Patrick Clemson, a visitor to the shopping center, had this to say about the store selection: “It’s a little disappointing to see it full of fad stores, I was expecting something a little more timeless.” This was also the feeling my own mother got after walking around; the shopping center is definitely set up for a specific demographic. This is not necessarily a bad thing; the shopping center is set up for a younger, wealthier group of people. This is not the most unappealing part though.
The biggest downfall of the shopping center would be the lack of things to do, with the amount of stores and restaurants in lackluster compared to the size of the property. There are signs saying there are other places being added on, but they should’ve just delayed the opening for them as visitors are being left with a sore taste in the mouth. I went a second time to try and give it a better chance and was left with the same feeling. Most of the space is taken up by intricate sitting areas, which takes away from there being anything of substance added. I think the shopping center could benefit from adding more “mall” stores like Vans or even Bath and Body Works. Their COVID-19 response has been relatively okay. All stores require a mask to enter and there was hand sanitizer readily available throughout the shopping center along with the entrance of most stores and restaurants. However, there were people walking around and refusing to wear a mask while outside.
It is not all negative, however, there are some really unique gems in the center. The whole thing is really well decorated, and could easily be a great photo spot. There are a ton of cool seating areas; while being a bit excessive, they are cool at least. There also is an upstairs portion that is completely accessible so that is another good thing. While the stores may be expensive, they are at least trendy and fun to walk through if you don’t want to actually break your bank. Also, there is a Shake Shack which is a big plus, as there aren’t too many in the area! If you’re looking for a place to shop for hours and hours, this is not the place for that. On the other hand, if you’re looking for a more casual shopping trip then this is definitely the place for you.