Irvine Co.'s The Market Place is too big for one city. It sprawls across two. Split in two by Jamboree Road, the southern half of the 120-store, 165-acre center resides in Irvine, Calif. The northern half is in Tustin.
The huge regional destination center combines open-air lifestyle retail with big-box retail. Nationally known value- and quality-driven store names offer apparel, books, electronics, fitness, groceries, home furnishings and decor, movie theaters, restaurants, various services, sporting goods, toys, and on and on.
"And it's not standard shopping-center beige," said Lori Pawley, VP leasing for Irvine Co. Retail Properties. "It's a brightly colored, fun place to be."
Customers can shop, eat, see a movie, play and relax on the lushly landscaped grounds, with three fountains and plenty of shaded sitting areas.
Bring your car: The Market Place is pure California car-oriented retail. About 489,000 cars per day pass the center on Jamboree Road, Interstate-5, which exits to Jamboree and three other major roads. Entrances beckon drivers at eight major intersections. Drivers park in front of the stores they want to shop or in parking lots convenient to groups of stores.
Many cars come from outside of The Market Place trading area, adding to the 642,805-strong market within a 10-mile radius of the center.
Add to that the 225,000 employees working within a 5-mile radius of the center. While many live within 10 miles, some live outside the trade area and boost the customer base even higher.
"Tenants tell us that customers from across the region shop here regularly," said Pawley. "So our draw is larger than the trade area population."
Cash crowd: Customers bring lots of cash and credit with them. Average household income in the trade area is $109,000. Average household net worth totals $702,302.
Customers are wealthy, and they are young. Average age is 33. They have many shopping years ahead of them.
Years in the making: The Market Place began life as The Tustin Market Place in 1988 when it first opened with 400,000 sq. ft. of retail on the north side of Jamboree Road. Two more phases opened on the Tustin side in 1989 and 1990, adding 360,000 sq. ft.
Between 1999 and 2011, three additional phases opened on the Irvine side of Jamboree, causing the name to change from The Tustin Market Place to The Market Place, while adding 840,000 sq. ft. of retail and bringing the center's total square footage to 1.6 million.
Part of the master plan: "Irvine is a master-planned community, developed with a focus on living, working and playing," said Pawley. "Retail is an important part of that for residents and for employees who commute to Irvine office buildings — we're the second largest owner of office buildings in the U.S.
"Retail offerings include community shopping centers throughout the residential areas, Fashion Island, Irvine Spectrum Center and The Market Place. Many of the same customers use each of our centers but for different reasons. They shop the Market Place for lifestyle quality and big-box values."