The best things in life aren't free

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By Cheryl Eddy

Maxing out my inbox's credit line today: a press release heralding the Westfield San Francisco Centre's September 28 grand opening. The $460 mil project is sandwiched between Walgreens and the mall that's already down by Fifth St and Market (you know, the one with the spiral escalator -- across the street from that "Jesus Loves You" guy). It's freakin' huge -- 1.5 million square feet, to be exact.

From the curiously punctuated PR missive:

"Westfield San Francisco Centre, will emerge as the largest urban shopping center west of the Mississippi and be the only urban retail center distinctively anchored by two flagship department stores and be home to the nations second largest Bloomingdale’s and Nordstrom. The Centre also boats a mix of 170 specialty stores and exclusive boutiques; The Restaurant Collection, featuring eight full-service restaurants and The Food Emporium, housing the ultra gourmet market Bristol Farms and 15 fast-casual gourmet eateries. The mixed-use venue will also offer Class A office space. A 16,000 square-foot Burke Williams Day Spa and a nine-screen, state-of-the-art Century Theatres complete the nine-story venue."

In the words of Guardian managing editor Lynn Rapoport: "'The largest urban shopping center west of the Mississippi' -- we should be very proud."

Also, what's that theater gonna roll out, exactly? Doesn't the Metreon show everything already? How many screens in a two-block radius can play host to Little Man without the entire city imploding like casa Freeling in Poltergeist?

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