University of Southern California

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South Coast Collection
Anyone who drives the 405 freeway between USC’s downtown LA campus and Orange County sees the South Coast Collection beaming, “Hello, come check me out.” But it wasn’t always such an energized location. Marshall Partners Shareholders spent an evening on property contemplating the business case for its reinvention and the wine selection at We Olive & Wine Bar.
The Mix
The event was held inside the OC Mart Mix, one of SOCO’s largest tenants, a nearly 24,000 square foot open marketplace staged with a wonderfully eclectic assortment of micro-retail spaces similar to the concept of the Ferry building in San Francisco.
Listen Up
Left to right, Jimmy Slusher, Marshall Partners OC Chapter Shareholder Rep., kicks off the meeting with an introduction of Bryon Ward, president of Burnham-Ward Properties, an affiliate of Burnham USA Equities, owners of the SOCO property.
From Foreclosure to Fantastic
Bryon Ward shares his company’s strategy for purchasing the property out of foreclosure in February 2009, to rebuild and reposition the center. Originally developed as a 300,000 square foot home furnishing center completed in 2007 as the housing market crashed, the property went into foreclosure by 2008. Under Burnham-Ward ownership, the former “South Coast Furnishing Center” was rebranded as the South Coast Collection (SOCO) and the experience restaged from generic mall to vibrant retail village.
Design Changes Everything
Marshall Partners Shareholders listen as Bryon Ward makes the case for the power of design in attracting the right mix of retailers and the successful turnaround of the property. The SOCO offering was diversified from the narrow notion of home design to the broader notion of design-centric lifestyle attracting a new class of retailers and restaurateurs. SOCO is now 80 percent leased.
The Magic of the Mix
Bryon Ward introduces Andrea Young, partner in the OC Mart Mix (The Mix), the location of the event. The Mix is an energizer brand at SOCO featuring a vibrant gathering of vendors showcasing unique products and merchandise. With 32 retailers under one roof and growing, a walk-through is a delight. The Mix includes the We Olive & Wine Bar, and the Portola Coffee Lab for refreshment with more food and beverage to come.
Risk and Reward
Andrea Young, a former Microsoft marketing exec, presents the concept of the Mix, and how she and her partners envisioned their offering. With shops typically as small as 200 square feet, the Mix provides vendors an affordable location to showcase their unique products and merchandise to shoppers and designers. The eclectic assortment of merchandise creates synergy for the vendors and a unique experience for shoppers.
What Makes It Work?
Marshall Partners shareholder members listen as Andrea Young, partner in the Mix, explains her business’s positioning: “It’s a destination. It’s an event. It’s a showcase. It’s needed.”
Mixing @ the Mix
Left to right foreground, Marshall Partners Shareholders Jillian Ukropina with Colin Campbell
Mixing @ the Mix
Left to right, Marshall Partners Shareholders Isaiah Weeden, Erik Hugstad, Norman Katz, and friend of Marshall Partners
Mixing @ the Mix
Left to right, Marshall Partners Shareholders Ryan Lynch, Ryan Aeh, and friend