An artist's rendering of the interior of The Market, a new addition to Santa Monica Place's dining deck that will feature artisan foods and gifts for those looking for more gourmet dining options. (photo by Rendering Courtesy Santa Monica Place)

DOWNTOWN — Santa Monicans who frequent Farmers’ Markets looking for the freshest ingredients will soon have another spot to indulge in creative culinary pursuits.

Gourmet cheeses, artisan breads and hand-painted chocolates are just some of the treats that will be available beginning May 20 when The Market at Santa Monica Place opens.

Representatives with Macerich Co., the owners and operators of Santa Monica Place, said Wednesday The Market will be located on the third floor dining deck and will feature purveyors of artisan, sustainable, gourmet good that will include meats, olive oil, fruits and vegetables, in addition to prepared foods and related merchandise, such as fresh flowers.

Some of the merchants to set up shop are: Venokado, which pairs unique gifts with vintage wines; N’ice Cream in Venice, which produces more than 85 flavors of organic, free-trade gelato and sorbet every morning; and King’s Road, a popular Los Angeles gathering spot with an outstanding reputation for superior coffee made from house-roasted, heirloom beans.

“There is a great deal of anticipation building for The Market, and we are very excited now to share the official opening date,” said Michael Guerin, vice president of leasing for Macerich. “We first announced The Market about a year ago, and ever since we continue to hear how people look forward to this new concept. It’s clear that there is real local demand to be able to pick up terrific organic, gourmet food items in the same location they already are visiting for wonderful meals on the dining deck.”

Officials with Macerich said the opening of The Market is the next major milestone in the reinvention of Santa Monica Place, which opened in August 2010.

The dining deck has become a star attraction at the mall, featuring six chef-driven restaurants and a food court. The deck boasts views of Downtown Santa Monica and the ocean.

Negotiations continue with more merchants for The Market, Guerin said, and there is still 45,000 square feet above Bloomingdale’s that is unoccupied.

Guerin said he would like to hear from local business owners or entrepreneurs who may be interested in joining The Market.

Macerich Co. is one of the largest real-estate investment trusts focusing on the development and management of regional malls in the U.S. with more than 71 in its portfolio. It has been based in Santa Monica for more than 30 years.

kevinh@www.smdp.com

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