The billionaire developer had been pushing for a retail center next to the track since 2004, so his withdrawal, just posted by Dakota Smith at the Daily News, comes as a surprise. No explanation on why he's pulling out. Some background:
Caruso Affiliated proposed in 2004 to build the Shops at Santa Anita, a 825,000-square-foot lifestyle center. The plan was delayed by a legal challenge from rival developer Westfield, which owns a nearby mall, and advocacy group Arcadia First!, an entity backed by Westfield. Another setback followed when Canada-based Magna Entertainment Corp., owner of the race track, filed for bankruptcy in 2009. Still, Caruso said earlier this year that negotiations for the mall were continuing with Canada-based, MI Developments, which absorbed the real estate holdings of Magna International Inc.
Earlier this month, Caruso pulled out from bidding on a concessions contract at LAX. He cited the unwieldy contracting process, though some wondered whether the decision had anything to do with a possible mayoral bid. The Santa Anita deal is not in the city of L.A., of course, but the move will inevitably lead to more buzz (especially if he doesn't offer any explanation).
*Here's the Business Journal version. The story had been slated for next week's edition, but the paper got upstaged a bit when the Daily News beat it to the punch.