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Extreme Makeovers


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Blackhawk Plaza is in line for more than primping. The 17-year-old Danville shopping destination will unveil its $34 million makeover this summer, complete with nationally acclaimed shops and restaurants, indoor and outdoor fireplaces, mood lighting, new walkways and waterways, a children’s play area, and avant-garde architecture.

[Blackhawk Plaza] had great promise when it was first built, but it was premature. There wasn’t the population base to make it successful,” says Fred Bruning, founder and president of CenterCal Properties LLC, the retail development company that purchased the plaza in early 2006.

The mod shopping sanctuary will be a nod to Blackhawk developer Ken Behring’s original vision and is expected to indulge the whims of its surrounding multimillion-dollar residents. Restaurant names are still under wraps, but the retail lineup includes Coach, Anthropologie, Lucky Brand Jeans, Banana Republic, Chico’s, Janie and Jack, White House|Black Market, and the Pharmaca Integrative Pharmacy.

The Blackhawk Museum will stay, along with 20 percent of the existing tenants, including Blackhawk Grille, Alina B., and the Cinemark movie theater (expected to reopen as a luxury cinema with reclining leather seats).Draeger’s Markets—known for premium wines, made-from-scratch artisan foods, and chic housewares—will open in Gottschalks’ former location with an outdoor wine bar and cooking school led by celebrity chefs such as Joey Altman, Joanne Weir, and Joyce Goldstein. 

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