January 17th, 2012

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The Paladion slated to do $60M. (shopping center in downtown San Diego, California)

WWD September 30, 1991 | Marlow, Michael SAN DIEGO — One of this city’s most ambitious upscale retail centers opens next February on Front Street, adjacent to San Diego’s major downtown shopping complex, Horton Plaza.

The Paladion, named after Italian architect Andrea Palladio, will contain some 107,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space and is expected to do $60 million in volume its first year.

Initial tenants include Tiffany & Co., Gucci, Cartier, Salvatore Ferragamo, Mark Cross, Alfred Dunhill of London and Bice Ristorante.

Fifty-two percent of the center has been leased and negotiations are under way with other retailers who, if the deals are consummated, would take care of another 20 percent, said Walter Smyk, a managing principal of Paladion Partners, Ltd., the San Diego-based developer of the project. downtownsandiegonow.net downtown san diego

Smyk said he got the idea to build the center while reading ads in upscale magazines. Although stores such as Gucci and Cartier listed several locations throughout the country, San Diego — the sixth largest city in the country, according to the U.S. census — was not among them.

The dominant feature of the three-story center will be an open-air atrium in the middle of the square structure. Forty stores and restaurants will be arranged around the atrium.

The building is across from Nordstrom in Horton Plaza, whose 140 stores include Robinson’s, The Broadway and Mervyn’s. web site downtown san diego

Smyk said he wants the Paladion to be a meeting place for residents and visitors, like the lobby court of a European hotel. With this in mind, the Bice restaurant will be in the atrium and will offer coffee and pastries in the morning, a light lunch at noon, tea in the afternoon and cocktails, desserts and coffee at night.

A terraced rooftop will have Bice Italian restaurant, which will serve lunch and dinner, a pavilion for parties and a woman’s spa, Spa de la Mer.

Reached in New York, Brian Ohl, senior vice president of retail for Tifanny’s said growth in the San Diego market attracted Tiffany’s to the Paladion.

“In addition to the local market,” said Ohl, “you have a huge market potential in two ways: the arrangement with Mexico to expand free trade, coupled with Pacific Rim business.” Marlow, Michael