GO – The Shoppes at Chino Hills

This weekend, Inland Southern California welcomed the latest addition to the area’s growing retail scene as The Shoppes at Chino Hills held its grand opening.

Grand Opening

Main Street


Located just west of Highway 71 at the corner of Grand Avenue and Peyton Drive, the 400,000 sq. ft. outdoor mall is the fourth major “lifestyle” center to open within the region since 2004. Thus far, approximately 40 of the expected 60 retailers are open, with the rest to follow shortly.

Developed by Phoenix-based Opus West, the $200 million center is anchored by Barnes & Noble, Trader Joe’s, Victoria’s Secret, Banana Republic, H&M and Chicos. Also included are several specialty chains such as New York & Co., J. Jill, JoS A. Bank, and White House | Black Market. Dining is represented with the likes of CPK, P.F. Chang’s, Wood Ranch BBQ and a Yard House Bar & Grill.

As with many recent open-air centers, The Shoppes is designed to mimic a main street setting, though with an updated architectural look and feel. Many of the Altoon + Porter designed storefronts sport high-tech styling with subtle old-school details. Several park-like benches scattered about offer a place to rest or simply people watch.

In general, the place was relatively inviting, but does have a few drawbacks.

First, there are no major department stores. Although not completely unusual in today’s newer, mall-like retail developments, residents looking for a Macy’s or Nordstrom will still need to travel to either Montclair or Riverside.

Second, the center has only one car-free promenade (and three vehicular thru-ways, which can be closed as needed). Though no real surprise considering the car-dominated city that surrounds it, the result was a very busy and active courtyard at one end of the mall with lightly scattered pedestrian activity elsewhere.

With that said, the center also suffers from a shortage of parking (which likely explains the interior thru-ways and lack of more promenade space). Located on a rather smallish parcel, The Shoppes could use a parking garage (and will likely need one sooner rather than later). Complicating matters is the fact that Peyton Avenue is currently undergoing major construction.

Overall, we like the look and feel. Though nowhere near a real downtown setting, we appreciate the notion of adding a small urban-like core of sorts to what is essentially a suburban-oriented city. With the adjacent civic center currently under construction and a possible residential component on the horizon, The Shoppes will no doubt play a large role in fulfilling that notion.

Slideshow: The Shoppes at Chino Hills



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  1. (Pub: May 27 2008)
    Correct — The Shoppes is essentially a much smaller version of Rancho Cucamonga’s Victoria Gardens. And just as with indoor malls of the past, many of these new “lifestyle” centers share similarities.

    Although we’re not a total fan of the faux downtown atmosphere and much prefer the real thing, we do understand the concept behind these centers. As such, we’d like to see them mix in more residential components as does San Jose’s Santana Row. Regardless, we feel these new mall-like developments are a much better form than the typical strip center and/or big-box center.

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