Orchard or Retail?

April 1, 2008

GreenbergFarrow, a nationally recognized architecture, planning, engineering, and development consulting firm based in Atlanta, is overseeing development and construction of The Orchard - Stone Creek, a 500,000-square-foot lifestyle center located halfway between Los Angeles and San Diego on I-215 in Murrieta, CA.

Evoking the ambience of the Southern California citrus fruit industry of a century ago, the 50-acre retail complex features an active, 168-tree orchard. Construction began in 2006. Phase I and II are now open and the remaining phases are scheduled for completion in 2009.

Developed by Retail Development Advisors of Yorba Linda, CA, The Orchard - Stone Creek will include a host of retail, theater, restaurant, and service tenants in freestanding and in-line configurations. Anchored by Marshalls, Target, Walgreens, and a Dixieline Lumber and Home Center, The Orchard - Stone Creek also includes Starbucks, Subway, UPS, Bank of America, and other retailers.  The site will offer pharmacies, clothing stores, a casual dining plaza, fast-food options, and approximately 2,000 parking spaces.

"As one of America's leading designers of retail properties, GreenbergFarrow is proud to deliver a unique lifestyle center that honors Southern California's rich agricultural legacy," said Navid Maqami, AIA, LEED, principal, architecture, of GreenbergFarrow.  "Our design philosophy is to think like retailers so that shopping environments meet retailers' needs.  The Orchard - Stone Creek enhances the shopping experience through a compelling design that pays tribute to the region's history."  

"We worked in partnership with GreenbergFarrow every step of the way," said Allan L. Davis, president of Retail Development Advisors.  "Their team shared our vision for this special project and understood how we could transform the concept into reality.  From day one, GreenbergFarrow's vital contribution to The Orchard - Stone Creek demonstrated their appreciation for our region's heritage and their commitment to design excellence."

The center incorporates unique design features drawn from the surrounding agricultural region such as simple, wood slat-sided barns, corrugated metals, early 20th-century-style graphic billboards, and signage reflecting the often-ornate citrus packing labels once found on area orange crates.  "We have extensively used weathering steel that rusts to a natural color reflective of the local rock and soil," said Mr. Davis.

Literally an orchard, The Orchard - Stone Creek will accommodate 168 trees in grid planters, as in a typical orchard. Once complete, the site will feature 66 lime trees, 40 ruby red grapefruit trees, 48 navel orange trees, and six tangerine trees. Shoppers will also be able to pick bay leaves for their soup recipes from eight bay laurel trees.

To promote sustainability, the orchard's self-sufficient irrigation system uses a re-circulating stream fed by a 1,130-foot-deep water well in the parking lot. Through this approach, the shopping center does not require water transported from Northern California or the Colorado River by canal for its water features or irrigation.

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