Brief History of The Citadel, City of Commerce

In 1929, architects Morgan Walls and Clements (Mayan Theater) built Commerce’s most recognizable landmark, the Assyrian-themed Samson Tire and Rubber Co. factory before being shut down in 1978. The city bought the Samson site for $14 million in 1983. Seven years later, Trammell Crow Co. was brought in to oversee the $118 million redevelopment of the site into an outlet center, as well as the construction of a 201-room Wyndham Garden Hotel next door.

When the partnership defaulted on its ground lease with the city in 1998, Commerce officials took back the center and began marketing it to firms that would double its retail size and make it competitive with newer outlet malls in Southern California.

Craig Realty bought the Citadel Factory Stores from the City of Commerce for $50 million in July 2002, with the condition that his firm would double the size of the retail center of outlet shopping stores.  Craig Realty owns factory outlet centers in Cabazon, just outside Palm Springs, and Carlsbad. It also helped develop Camarillo Premium Outlets.

2 thoughts on “Brief History of The Citadel, City of Commerce”

  1. A beautiful building. As a California archaeologist, I have touched its fabric more than once.

  2. There was an expansion of the tire factory sometime during World War Two. I was born in 1938, and was attending Ford Blvd. grammar school during that period of time.
    The round stone emblems which adorn the facade are emblematic of the California Poppy.
    Following the end of World War Two, my father, having started his own staff and stone business, was hired to form, and make additional pharaoh figures, as well as as the emblematic stone poppies.
    At that young age, I began mixing concrete by hand, after school, week ends, as well as any “non school day”.

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