South Coast Plaza reopens Monday, June 1 with most amenities shut

  • The carousel at South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa will remain closed even as the retail center reopens June 1. (Photo by Drew A. Kelley, Contributing Photographer)

  • South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa is void of customers after a rise in COVID-19 cases on Monday, March 16, 2020. (Photo by Drew A. Kelley, Contributing Photographer)

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  • South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa is void of customers after a rise in COVID-19 cases on Monday, March 16, 2020. (Photo by Drew A. Kelley, Contributing Photographer)

  • South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa lacks customers after a rise in COVID-19 cases on Monday, March 16, 2020. (Photo by Drew A. Kelley, Contributing Photographer)

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The giant South Coast Plaza retail center will reopen Monday, June 1 with limited hours and many of its amenities sidelined to ease shoppers’ concerns about the novel coronavirus.

The Costa Mesa center quietly announced details of the reopening on its webpage late Thursday, May 28. California’s easing of stay-at-home orders now allows indoor malls to open. The mall closed March 16 after learning a store employee had contracted the virus.

“The health and safety of everyone in the shopping center is our top priority,” the South Coast Plaza’s website states.

The center’s plan gives shoppers a preview of what mall life could be like in the pandemic era.

Operating hours have been shortened, beginning at 11 a.m. and closing at 7 pm, Monday through Saturday, and noon to 7 p.m. on Sundays.

Customers are advised to check individual shops and restaurants to see which ones would be open. Many indoor malls have reopened their shopping halls in the past week, but many merchants were not yet ready for business.

Visitors to South Coast Plaza should bring a face covering or mask. It’s required in the parking lots, to enter the mall and in stores. Costa Mesa and the county both require masks at most indoor facilities open to the public. The mall will offer free masks to customers who need one.

How South Coast Plaza handles its reopening will be carefully watched in the shopping center industry. The mall, which caters to high-end shoppers, is known to be a cutting-edge provider of customer service.

For example, South Coast Plaza’s reopening notice cited a new “state-of-the-art air treatment system” and intensified cleaning efforts, especially in high-touch areas. Hand sanitizer stations are placed in high traffic areas, and mall personnel will help manage social distancing along with signage encouraging visitors to keep 6-feet apart.

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Services such as valet parking and holding packages are shut, but the SCP2GO curbside pickup service remains active. Many common areas where the public gathered are closed, including the popular carousels.

The mall reopens in a tough environment for shopping centers. The pandemic has spooked shoppers — skittish about spending with record-high unemployment — and shattered the finances of many merchants — the folks who pay mall owners’ rents.

Real estate analysts at Green Street Advisors estimated mall operators nationwide collected about 25% of the rent they previously got and “collectability of unpaid rent will be tough.” That’s a key reason why the typical mall’s value has been cut by 25% this year.

It may not get better soon, Green Street wrote, as “retailer rent-paying ability could be impaired for years following this crisis.”

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Memo says Gov. Newsom will order all beaches closed

By Adam Beam and Stefanie Dazio

SACRAMENTO — Gov. Gavin Newsom will order all beaches and state parks closed Friday after tens of thousands of people flocked to the seashore last weekend during a heatwave despite his stay-at-home order, according to a memo sent Wednesday evening to police chiefs around the state.

Eric Nuñez, president of the California Police Chiefs Association, said it was sent to give chiefs time to plan ahead of Newsom’s expected announcement Thursday.

A message to the governor’s office seeking comment wasn’t immediately returned.

Newsom this week targeted beachgoers in Orange and Ventura counties, calling them an example of “what not to do” if the state wants to continue its progress fighting the coronavirus. While many beaches and trails throughout the state have been closed for weeks, others have remained open with warnings for visitors to practice social distancing and more have reopened.

In Newport Beach, some 80,000 visitors hit the beach over the weekend, although lifeguards said most people exercised social distancing. With criticism swirling, the Newport Beach City Council met Tuesday and rejected a proposal to close the beaches for the next three weekends.

Nearby Laguna Beach approved a limited reopening. Beaches across San Diego County reopened Monday, with a few exceptions.

The Laguna Beach Police Department is working with the city’s Marine Safety Department to interpret the memo, Police Sgt. Jim Cota said.

The governor’s order is sure to draw fire as pressure is building to ease restrictions and slowly reopen the state. Virus hospitalizations have been virtually flat for several weeks in California and the state has dodged the dreaded massive surge of patients experienced by New York and several other states.

This is not going to end well.

Californians are not children you can ground when they don’t “behave” the way you want.

MM https://t.co/ySco3qs22F

— Melissa Melendez (@asmMelendez) April 30, 2020

Orange County Supervisor Don Wagner said in a statement he believes Newsom has the power to close beaches in the county, but “it is not wise to do so.”

He said Orange County residents have been cooperative with state and county restrictions.

“I fear that this overreaction from the state will undermine that cooperative attitude and our collective efforts to fight the disease, based on the best available medical information,” his statement said.

Dazio reported from Los Angeles.

Register reporter Eric Licas contributed to this story.

Read more about Memo says Gov. Newsom will order all beaches closed This post was shared via Orange County Register’s RSS Feed

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Memo says California governor will order all beaches closed

By Adam Beam and Stefanie Dazio

SACRAMENTO — Gov. Gavin Newsom will order all beaches and state parks closed Friday after tens of thousands of people flocked to the seashore last weekend during a heatwave despite his stay-at-home order, according to a memo sent Wednesday evening to police chiefs around the state.

Eric Nuñez, president of the California Police Chiefs Association, said it was sent to give chiefs time to plan ahead of Newsom’s expected announcement Thursday.

A message to the governor’s office seeking comment wasn’t immediately returned.

Newsom this week targeted beachgoers in Orange and Ventura counties, calling them an example of “what not to do” if the state wants to continue its progress fighting the coronavirus. While many beaches and trails throughout the state have been closed for weeks, others have remained open with warnings for visitors to practice social distancing and more have reopened.

In Newport Beach, some 80,000 visitors hit the beach over the weekend, although lifeguards said most people exercised social distancing. With criticism swirling, the Newport Beach City Council met Tuesday and rejected a proposal to close the beaches for the next three weekends.

Nearby Laguna Beach approved a limited reopening. Beaches across San Diego County reopened Monday, with a few exceptions.

The Laguna Beach Police Department is working with the city’s Marine Safety Department to interpret the memo, Police Sgt. Jim Cota said.

The governor’s order is sure to draw fire as pressure is building to ease restrictions and slowly reopen the state. Virus hospitalizations have been virtually flat for several weeks in California and the state has dodged the dreaded massive surge of patients experienced by New York and several other states.

This is not going to end well.

Californians are not children you can ground when they don’t “behave” the way you want.

MM https://t.co/ySco3qs22F

— Melissa Melendez (@asmMelendez) April 30, 2020

Orange County Supervisor Don Wagner said in a statement he believes Newsom has the power to close beaches in the county, but “it is not wise to do so.”

He said Orange County residents have been cooperative with state and county restrictions.

“I fear that this overreaction from the state will undermine that cooperative attitude and our collective efforts to fight the disease, based on the best available medical information,” his statement said.

Dazio reported from Los Angeles.

Register reporter Eric Licas contributed to this story.

Read more about Memo says California governor will order all beaches closed This post was shared via Orange County Register’s RSS Feed

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