Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Retro Urbanism Transforms OC Downtowns

Hunter Communications recommended reading from:
Los Angeles Times

Link to article: 
A retro-future corner of Anaheim

Developer LAB Holding and its founder Shaheen Sadeghi have a new concept for blighted or boring downtown areas in Orange County. His Center Street Promenade in Anaheim is a showplace for retro-styled urbanism, featuring such ingredients as a hip barber shop, a haberdasher, yoga studios, and even a "Good Food" emporium with a restaurant devoted to "Healthy Junk". The concept is to be authentic, local and different, with no national chains represented. Could Sadeghi's "anti-mall" be a new paradigm for 21st century shopping centers?

Excerpt: "Wearing round glasses, a buttoned vest and blue wingtip oxfords, Shaheen Sadeghi can't walk down Anaheim's Center Street Promenade without being greeted by every shop owner on this three-block stretch of newly opened restaurants and boutiques. He's the developer who transformed what was once a row of lackluster office buildings into his vision of retro-American retail opportunity, complete with all the telltales of new urbanism: baroque logos, penny tiles, wainscoting and Rockwellian facades. He calls the aesthetic 'hip blue-collar worker.'

Among the mix of stores is a haberdashery, yoga studio, raw-food cafe and a barber that plans to serve beer (it's called Barbeer) and whose staff members wear suspenders and bow ties. Sadeghi says he's still looking for a florist and "hard-core coffee." In a city better known for Mickey Mouse than macchiatos, Sadeghi is changing the face of downtown Anaheim. As founder of LAB Holding, he's also the man behind the Lab and the Camp in Costa Mesa, the pioneering 'anti-mall' shopping concepts that house his mix of small businesses aimed at youth culture."

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