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Town Center to get an overhaul

Redesign includes a fountain, seating in the courtyard, and one new tenant.

July 15, 2012|By Daniel Siegal, daniel.siegal@latimes.com
  • An artist's rendering of the planned landscaping improvements at the La Canada Flintridge Town Center.
An artist's rendering of the planned landscaping… (Rob Fuelling / IDS…)

Big change is coming to the La Cañada Flintridge Town Center, with a new fountain, a burger joint and events to draw visitors.

Town Center owners IDS Real Estate revealed plans this week for a redesign of the public space in the center at Angeles Crest Highway and Foothill Boulevard, including a water fountain and seating in the main courtyard, smaller water elements in the center's other courtyards and new landscaping featuring native and drought-tolerant vegetation.

“We're trying to create more of an area where people can come and spend time throughout the Town Center, as opposed to just stopping by, doing their shopping and getting back in their cars,” said Robert Fuelling, IDS' director of marketing. Fuelling said IDS hopes to complete the work by the end of the year.

Once the Town Center's facelift — including new signs — is complete, IDS hopes to bring in new businesses to fill the center's remaining vacancies. One new tenant likely will be the Habit Burger Grill.

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The Habit asked the city earlier this month for permits to make tenant improvements — interior construction and redesign — for the vacant storefront between Panera Bread and Sakura Steakhouse off the center's main courtyard.

Habit representative Mike Mirkil declined to comment except to confirm the company is in lease discussions in the area. Fuelling declined to comment on pending transactions but confirmed IDS is in talks to lease that storefront.

The Habit, founded in Santa Barbara in 1969, has been expanding throughout California in recent years and now operates more than 50 stores in the state. Like In-N-Out, the Habit's primary fare is never-frozen beef hamburgers available in multiple patty-and-cheese configurations, but the chain also offers other items, including chicken and tri-tip sandwiches.

Fuelling said the Town Center is at 88% occupancy and has three or four vacant units remaining, but IDS' decision not to execute any leases since purchasing the property in 2011 was a conscious one.

“We haven't been in a hurry to enter into any lease transactions until we get our landscaping and project improvements approved,” he said. “Now that we've received approval we're eager to get started.”

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