Huntington Beach
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A Taste of Main Street
 taste of main street

 

Downtown Huntington Beach, where surfboards and swimsuits beauties drive into town in the luxury Mercedes or beach woodies, represent the surf culture of Southern California in a city known for its casual, fun atmosphere. Huntington Beach’s laid-back downtown lifestyle, welcomes new developments that will turn this town upside down. 

 

The Strand features beach and surfing themed shops, maintaining the laid-back, beach town charm in Huntington Beachh’s newest upscale shopping and dining experience with shops and restaurants, and  The Shorebreak Hotel, a 157-room boutique hotel opened in 2009. The Strand's 220,000 square feet in four individual buildings all on the same block of downtown - 5th Street connect via open-air walkways and feature business offices in addition to retail, dining and two levels of parking with over 425 parking spaces. The Huntington Beach downtown hotels have really come a long way, as have the parking structures, guest services, and meeting space.

Shops and restaurants include Forever 21, Johnny Rockets, RA Sushi, Rip Curl, Urban Outfitter’s, New Zealand Natural Ice Cream and more. Rob Wurl, vice president of development for CIM Group, the investing company leading the charge for the new downtown development, said the company sought to energize downtown Huntington Beach in a  development where kids on skateboards would zip by and stop to eat and shop.

The Strand  complex sits on the east side of Coast Highway, overlooking Huntington City Beach and Huntington Beach Pier, integrating art component such as sculptures, public art and landscaping that connect or resonate with the audience--young and old alike. Grannies in their tie-dyed shirts and kids in their Quiksilver shorts have a meeting of the minds in Surf City. It's cool, hip, and welcomes all ages.

Jud Fine, internationally renowned artist and professor of sculpture at USC, was contracted to design the art elements and scheme at The Strand, re-affirming the new kid and new block's focus on their audience--youngsters to aging hippies, wealthy and not-so-rich. Natural forces of waves, sand and marine life are captured in the elements put into action on surfaces and public spaces at the walkways along 5th Street, which in recent times has been more desolate and less inviting.  Treated with patterned materials to capture the sense of water, sand, bluffs and the pier, two sculptures in the paseo just off Fifth Street bring power and drama to the downtown scene, or so the thinking goes. From reviews of those we interviewed who saw it, there were some surf's up, and thumbs up reactions.