Residents of the new development would have access to 244,000 square feet of retail space.The city of Woodland Hills has long desired to upgrade the Warner Center’s function and reputation. That plan has received a major shot in the arm with the announcement of the proposed development of a massive mixed use project on the site of Warner Center’s Promenade Mall.
Westfield Corp., the current owner of the property, has released information regarding the details of the project. Residents of the new development would have access to 244,000 square feet of retail space, including a grocery store and a pharmacy. Leisure options will include an entertainment and sports complex steps away from their front doors, and there will be many front doors available. Besides the 1,432 residential units, plans include two hotels featuring a combined 572 guest rooms. The proprietors hope the mixture of residential, entertainment, and retail offerings – along with 600,000 square feet of available office space - will attract young professionals and entrepreneurs to the area.
Revitalization is exactly what Warner Center needs. Built in 1973, the Promenade Mall was billed as an upscale shopping mecca. It has, however, been plagued by negative publicity and vendor complaints. The bad blood between Westfield and the mall’s vendors came to a head in 2015. A lawsuit claimed that Westfield has failed to maintain the structure, causing retailers to leave and business for those remaining to decline. It is estimated that the building is currently 80% vacant.
While Westfield is not listed as the developer on the permit application, the company has not only maintained ownership of the mall but has also recently purchased both the attached AMC theater and former Macy’s building. The statement released by Westfield after the last purchase reinforces the company’s dedication to the success of the neighborhood as well its plans to take the property in a new direction, claiming that the acquisition “underscores Westfield’s long-term belief in the strength of L.A.’s Warner Center, while providing the company a unique opportunity to consider a range of prospects and alternatives over time.”
Westfield has shown a seemingly renewed commitment to the revitalization of the area. Westfield Topanga, an indoor shopping center in Canoga Park, was recently renovated. The company also opened The Village at Westfield Topanga with even more shopping, dining, and entertainment options. If everything goes according to plan, it would appear that the new Warner Center development on the site of the decaying Promenade Mall could entice a new group of people looking for the ideal place to live, work, and play.
17 OCTOBER 2016, USA