Westfield Culver City unveiled the final product of its $180 million revitalization and expansion project yesterday. California State Senator Curren Price, Culver City Mayor Andrew Weissman and other municipal officials gathered for a special ribbon cutting ceremony to commemorate the opening of the new shopping center.

Known for movie studios, high-tech businesses and fine dining, Culver City sought a world-class shopping center that would not only bring the community together, but draw visitors from other areas in the southern California region.

The VIP reception took place right outside the center's main entrance. Tall tables with teal and lime green table cloths and floral centerpieces lined one side and waiters served cream puffs and lemon tarts. Under white umbrellas the Culver City Symphony Orchestra treated guests to classical music while bartenders served champagne, fresh lemonade and ice coffee. White garden chairs were placed in neat rows in between palm trees and the main stage which housed a black and white cardboard backdrop of popular landmarks in Culver City such as the Sony Pictures water tower and the Helms Logo.

After a few words from the Senator, the mayor and Westfield Senior Vice President of Development, Larry Green, the Culver City Education Foundation was awarded a check for $20,000 and at the conclusion of the ceremony, guests were invited to take a tour of the new shopping center.

The mall's interior has been completely remodeled with newly installed floor tiles, fixtures and glass facades and handrails. The overall architecture of the center provides for more natural light so the boundaries between the outdoors and the indoors are somewhat non-existent. The enlarged areas create more open space for shoppers to freely stroll throughout the mall even during hours of heavy traffic and accented landscaping creates a peaceful shopping environment.

There are 130 retail stores including a 31,600 square foot XXI Forever, a 45,000 square foot Best Buy with a musical instruments store selling a wide range of instruments along with offering music lessons, and a 155,000-square-foot Target with the very first PFresh store carrying fresh produce, meats and breads.

The center also features restaurants and eateries such as BJ's Restaurant and Brewhouse,  Creme de la Crepe, Yen Sushi and Karaoke and Red Ribbon BakeShop. While other malls have boring food courts, Culver City has a dining terrace comprised of 14 restaurateurs like Cilantro for build-your-own burritos, Honeypuff-Dessert and Coffee Bar for Greek sweets and Kyochon Chicken -- famous in Korea for their chicken wings. The terrace also houses a KCRW listening lounge with white leather couches and black and silver chairs surrounding 8 flat screens that play music from live performances of KCRW artists.

Whoever said malls weren't educational was wrong. Promoting art and culture, the property is now home to three commissioned public art installations including Punctuation Station by Jeff Kopp, a combination of brightly colored architecture that not only teaches children about what to put at the end of sentences, but also functions as court seating for when you need to rest your pretty feet. 

Throughout the remainder of 2009, Westfield Culver City will be hosting a series of family friendly events such as a Radio Disney "After School" concert, adventure zones with sports programs, and a special appearance by Zac Sunderland, the youngest person ever to solo circumnavigate the globe. There will be a "Looks to Love" fashion seminar with free consultations with professional stylists and an appearance by the not married, not pregnant Kardashian sister, Kim -- OK! Magazine's newest beauty editor. Every week, a new promotional theme will be introduced including: Food, Family, Art and Fashion. For more info on upcoming events on when and where to spend your money, visit the Westfield web site.