Now Boarding: The 8 Restaurants Landing at LBX's The Hangar

Here's the list, just announced!

  • Bite Mi (Vietnamese bahn mi and spring rolls)
  • Doner G (Doner kabobs)
  • Plaid Sheep: Grilled Cheese Bar (for all you cheese lovers out there! High class grilled cheese? Umm, yes please!)
  • Popbar (New York based gelato)
  • Amorcito (Chef Thomas Ortega, Latin food)
  • Portola Coffee Roasters (O.C. based caffeine connoisseurs)
  • The Kroft (gastropub: craft beer, poutine, the like)
  • Bottlecraft (San Diego based bottle shop; local and international craft beers)

Well, that's the list! Which are you most excited about?

Read the original article here.

Cinépolis Junior: Creating a Kid-Friendly Cinema Experience

This month's edition of Shopping Centers Today shines the spotlight on Cinépolis Junior—an imaginative and colorful space that has been specially designed to accommodate kids and their unique experience at the movies. Cinépolis Junior shows G and PG movies only and allows 15-20 minutes of playtime before the movie and half-way through the flick. Cinépolis Junior is really creating something special for the little ones with this vibrant and bean-bag-laden theater where playtime is encouraged, however in a structured fashion. SMS Architects is well acquainted with Cinépolis Junior's existing locations in Vista and Pico Rivera. We were the architect for these family- and kid-friendly cinemas. We are so happy to hear that Cinépolis Junior is expanding to more locations! 

  Shopping Centers Today,  June 2018 edition

Shopping Centers Today, June 2018 edition

That time we all went OUT for lunch: Taco Wednesday

Yesterday was no ordinary day at the office. Around lunchtime, the SMS Architects team along with Wright Engineers and P.R. Construction headed out to the courtyard for a playful and muy delicioso Taco Wednesday. 

Thank you to Liz Cera, Scott Jones, Wright Engineers, P.R. Construction AND Ramon and Emma of Tacos Tacos a Domicilio for this festive and fun outdoor lunch! We can't wait to have another courtyard lunch break! 


“Build it, and they will come.”  

Someone once said that. (I think it was Kevin Costner in the 1989 film Field of Dreams.) This adage, however uncontested in the last three decades by retail real estate developers, now needs revision. --> “First design it, then build it… and then they will come— for the experience.”

By now we’ve all been made aware of the current state of retail being firmly EXPERIENTIAL. As consumers continue to choose to do their shopping online instead of in person, the rumor that “retail is dead” has been spread… however prematurely. After all, retail is not dead; instead, it is evolving to incorporate more than just the brick and mortar buying and selling of goods. Today’s successful retailing includes the promise to provide that which cannot be bought and sold online: face-to-face in person social experiences.

In decades past, retail centers included about 70% of retail space with much of the remaining 30% of space dedicated to restaurants, theaters, fitness centers, and other consumer experience venues. Today, however, that statistic has flipped. In today’s world of experiential retail, 70% of your space needs to be developed for the experience—dining with family, taking a spin class, catching a flick with friends; the remaining 30% of space is retail (including the ever popular pop-up style retail.)

As a retail real estate developer you have to ask yourself—in light of this new development, what is the right strategy in this demi-crisis of retail?

Pacific City in Huntington Beach, CA is a leading example of Southern California experiential retail.



It’s all about providing the right space, thoughtfully designed, for consumers to experience. It's not about building buildings, it's about building communities. After all, there's no BUY NOW button for a face-to-face dinner with your best friend from college, and there's no option for "Free Shipping" on taking your daughter to the movies to see the latest Pixar film. We are all just still people. And we know how to build for people.

— SMS Architects
#ExperienceArchitecture #ExperienceSMS

SMS Architects Receive 2018 Gold Nugget Award of Merit for THE LOT at Liberty Station & THE LOT La Jolla

The news came in late last week that SMS Architects' entries of THE LOT at Liberty Station & THE LOT in La Jolla have both been granted 2018 Gold Nugget Awards of Merit for the "Best Rehabilitation Project" category! Grand Award Winners will emerge from the Award of Merit Winners in each category at PCBC on June 28th of this year. We are thrilled to be recognized for The LOT projects and to be in the running for the Grand Award!

 The LOT La Jolla: 2018 Gold Nugget Award of Merit for Best Rehabilitation Project

The LOT La Jolla: 2018 Gold Nugget Award of Merit for Best Rehabilitation Project

 The LOT at Liberty Station - 2018 Gold Nugget Award of Merit for Best Rehabilitation Project

The LOT at Liberty Station - 2018 Gold Nugget Award of Merit for Best Rehabilitation Project


Opening of Long Beach Exchange (LBX) Announced by Burnham Ward

This week’s edition of the Orange County Business Journal features an announcement from our business affiliates Burnham Ward regarding the grand opening of LBX, or Long Beach Exchange, located at 4069 N Lakewood Blvd, Long Beach, CA 90808. We here at SMS Architects are proud to have collaborated on this brilliant experiential retail community as Design Consultant. We can’t wait to visit LBX, especially The Hangar! Read Burnham Ward’s announcement below:


Travel Channel + Pacific City

Travel Channel’s Food Network Gets a Taste or Two of Pacific City in Huntington Beach!

 Travel Channel’s Man V. Food host Casey Webb holds a fresh spaghetti grilled cheese while filming at Burnt Crumbs located in Pacific City in Huntington Beach on Sunday, March 25, 2018. (Photo by Matt Masin, Contributing Photographer)

Travel Channel’s Man V. Food host Casey Webb holds a fresh spaghetti grilled cheese while filming at Burnt Crumbs located in Pacific City in Huntington Beach on Sunday, March 25, 2018. (Photo by Matt Masin, Contributing Photographer)

YUM! It looks like the Travel Channel’s Food Network is getting a taste or two of Pacific City for which we here at SMS were the Executive Architect! Get the full-flavored story on Food Network’s Man vs Food and Food Paradise on the Travel Channel featuring Pacific City’s Lot 579 food hall favorites, Burnt Crumbs & PIE-NOT. Great job Pacific City! #smsarchitects #pacificcity #huntingtonbeach #smsexperience

The Groves

75-Acre Mixed-Use Development Soon to Become THE GROVES, has broken ground in Whittier, California!

SMS Architects is proud to announce that as of yesterday, April 4th, a 75-acre mixed-use development, soon to become The Groves, has broken ground in Whittier, California! The building project includes a historical restoration of what used to be a place of worship. Historically, this space has undergone a couple changes over the past century. This project site is actually the 126-year-old former Whittier State School and Correctional Facility which, in the 1960s, was transformed into a Protestant Chapel. As of yesterday, however, the project to redevelop the historical site into The Groves has been set into action! SMS Architects has designed what will specifically become The Commissary at The Groves, a historical restoration which is to be listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The overall site will see the development of 700 homes, new neighborhood parks, and 150,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space. SMS Architects was thrilled to contribute to this community by designing the architectural redevelopment of the former-chapel-turned-community-center to be known as The Commissary. This community center will be available for use not only by the residents of The Groves but also by  the residents of the city of Whittier as a whole. We here at SMS Architects are very excited to oversee the progress and eventual completion of The Groves neighborhood  in Whittier, California. This project is set to be completed in Spring 2020, so stay tuned! Learn more about The Groves here.