Shopping Centers Today

MAR 2017

Shopping Centers Today is the news magazine of the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC)

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26 S C T / M A R C H 2 0 1 7 D E V E L O P M E N T D I G E S T F R O M R E N D E R I N G TO G R A N D O P E N I N G SteelCraft, in Long Beach, Calif., has turned old shipping containers into a new dining experience By Ben Johnson A dirt lot in suburban Long Beach, Calif., has been transformed into a thriving retail center built from cargo containers. This retail center, called SteelCraft, boasts eight food-themed vendors and is the first such center in Los Angeles County. The project is the concept of Kimberly Gros, a Long Beach native and entrepreneur who derived the name by juxtaposing the words "steel" (a nod to the container material that houses each tenant) and "craft" (in recognition of the artisan nature of the vendors). SteelCraft opened early last month, over Super Bowl weekend. The tenants are DeSano Pizza Bakery, The Fresh Shave, Lovesome Chocolates, Pig Pen Delicacy, Smog City Brewing, Steelhead Coffee, Tajima Ramen and Waffle Love. The refurbished containers were provided by Gardena, Calif.– based International Port Management Enterprise. "These are basically food trucks without the wheels," said Mark Turpin, owner of Long Beach–based Turpin Design, which designed the project. The containers house kitchens and serving areas around a 170-foot-long courtyard that seats 150 and has a performance stage. Gros, who lives mere blocks from SteelCraft and whose background is in human resources and recruiting, is anything but a conventional retail developer. She came up with the SteelCraft idea three years ago, after doing some traveling overseas. "Typically, you fall in love with cities that have Outside the box

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