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Los Angeles Council Approves Mixed-Use Overhaul of Westfield Mall

$1.5 Billion Warner Center Project Calls for Apartments, Offices, Sports Arena

By Lou Hirsh CoStar News December 3, 2020 | 3:47 P.M.

The city council in Los Angeles has approved plans to turn an aging Westfield mall in the San Fernando Valley into a $1.5 billion mixed-use complex with retail, housing, offices and a stadium.

Global mall operator Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield plans to convert its current Westfield Promenade mall, which is partly vacant, into an active new development known as Promenade 2035 in the Warner Center area of Woodland Hills.

The mall redevelopment is considered a centerpiece of a larger area of northwestern Los Angeles where officials have been planning for urbanized, transit-friendly development in coming decades with the Warner Center 2035 Specific Plan.

The redevelopment reflects a growing national trend of turning aging and underutilized retail space into more productive commercial uses, and Los Angeles officials see denser mixed-use developments as an effective way to add affordable housing and neighborhood-serving amenities to a region with chronic affordability challenges for working families.

“With thousands of new housing units, job opportunities for our community, and a place-making new entertainment center, the Westfield Promenade 2035 project is a game-changing development for the West Valley,” Los Angeles City Councilman Robert Blumenfeld, whose district includes the project site, said in a statement.

“Our housing affordability crisis will only be solved by building affordable units, and this project includes the very first affordable housing in Warner Center,” Blumenfeld said.

The Westfield redevelopment has been in the works for several years and was approved by the city’s Planning Commission earlier this year. The developer’s plans include 1,400 apartments, including 162 units geared to lower-income residents, and a 25-story office tower with more than 730,000 square feet of space.

Promenade 2035 is also planned to include a 34-acre entertainment center with public walkways, a grocery store and other shops and restaurants, a 572-room hotel, parking for 5,600 vehicles, and an enclosed sports and entertainment arena with about 7,500 seats.

Developers have projected that Promenade 2035 will create more than 10,800 construction jobs and 9,700 permanent jobs after completion, providing the city with more than $17 million in net new annual tax revenue.

“This decision marks nearly four years of public review of the project, which has been shaped by over two decades of input from our neighbors in Warner Center,” Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield Senior Vice President of Development Kim Brewer said in a statement responding to the council approval on Dec. 2.

“These challenging times make it even more critical to support continued investment in our city,” Brewer said.

Paris-based Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield has U.S. operations based in Los Angeles and is among the world’s largest mall operators. In recent years it has been adding apartments, offices and other nonretail elements to boost income at several of its properties.

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