DOWNTOWN — Santa Monica-based mall operator Macerich Co. today reported a loss of $6.4 million, or 8 cents per share, for the quarter ended March 31, compared with net income of $14 million, or 18 cents per share, for the same period in 2009.

Macerich, a real estate investment trust, reported quarterly net operating income up 1.8 percent, and its occupancy rate increasing slightly from 90.1 percent to 91.1 percent.

In April, the company raised more than $1.2 billion through the sale of 31 million shares of stock.

“Over a year ago we embarked on a multi-faceted capital plan to raise liquidity and strengthen our balance sheet,” Macerich chairman and chief executive Arthur Coppola said. “With the completion of our recent equity issuance we have successfully executed our capital plan and we now have a very strong balance sheet and have positioned the company to be opportunistic.”

In 2010, Macerich announced new leases with 18 retailers for the new Santa Monica Place

In addition to brands like Burberry, Hugo Boss, and Swarovski, the property revealed that Betsey Johnson, Barneys Co-Op, L’Occitane, and White House | Black Market will also be among the new additions to its roster.

Other names include Johnny Was, which offers urban bohemian style clothing; Pandora, a jewelry shop featuring handcrafted Danish designs; Bird Pick Tea and Herb, the L.A. Chinatown-based retailer of teas, Asian imports, and fine wines; Chilli Beans, a Brazilian sunglasses company; Tous, a popular international jewelry brand; Foreign Exchange, a California clothing concept for men and women; Kensington Luggage, a local luggage purveyor; Sea of Silver, a local jewelry concept; and GNC, a popular stop for nutritional supplements.

Since the old mall closed in March 2008, the property which lies just a block south of the Third Street Promenade has undergone a complete stylistic and conceptual transformatiion. Slated to open on August 6, 2010, the new three-level open-air shopping and dining destination will focus on creating an urban beach experience, reflecting the Santa Monica lifestyle.

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