Old school suburban-style malls, the kind where shoppers enter a drab consumer vortex shielded from sunlight, just won’t do in La La Land. Los Angeles County is undergoing a retail center boom as developers who have snatched up old malls and plazas are transforming them into modern mixed-use destinations.
As of January, there is about 827,600 square feet of new retail space under construction across the county.
According to a trend report from JLL, property owners are responding to the changing behaviors of today’s shoppers by focusing more on visitors’ experiences. That means high-end restaurants and plazas where shoppers can hang out are as important, or more important, than stores. Some of the new redevelopments will even feature residential units.
Read on for several examples of the changing face of L.A.’s retail scene.
Beverly Center, 8500 Beverly Boulevard
Located on the border of Beverly Hills and WeHo, the Beverly Center is gearing up for a $500 million makeover. Its biggest objective? Bringing natural light into the 886,000-square-foot mall. Its owner, Taubman Centers, announced it would redevelop the site in March. Other additions include a new steel façade, an updated streetscape, restaurant space and a center court featuring a massive LED screen. Completion is slated for 2018.
Westfield Century City, 10250 Santa Monica Boulevard
Over in Century City, its namesake Westfield mall is in the early states of a $800 million upgrade. It’s adding 70 new shops and restaurants and eight acres of outdoor space, as well as additional parking. When complete, the center will encompass 1.2 million square feet. New tenants include Nordstrom and Eataly.
NoHo West, 170 Freeway
Currently known as Laurel Plaza in North Hollywood, the NoHo West project will transform the 25-acre site into a mixed-use community with shops, restaurants and commercial office space, as well as residential units. It will also have a gym, a supermarket and cinema. Retail and restaurant space will account for 190,000 square feet. The development is a joint venture between Goldstein Planting Investments and Merlone Geier Partners.
Westside Pavilion, 10800 West Pico Boulevard
This 31-year-old West L.A. shopping mall recently announced plans for major renovations. Its owner, Macerich company, has yet to announce any specific plans for the 755,000-square-foot space, but its biggest change will be getting rid of the bunker-like walls the close off the mall from Pico Boulevard.
Promenade at Howard Hughes Center
Another outdated mall, the Promenade at Howard Hughes Center, was purchased last June by Laurus Corporation. Redevelopment plans for the 250,000 square feet property place an emphasis on food and entertainment in open, walkable space. The Howard Hughes Center has a growing collection office buildings and apartments as well. It will have a total of 1.3 million square feet of office space and 3,200 apartments, Jean Paul Szita, president of Laurus, told the L.A. Times. The redevelopment will cost $30 million.
The Bloc, 700 South Flower Street
Hyped to be a future hub of Downtown L.A., Ratkovich Company’s 1.1 million-square-foot office and retail redevelopment recently resolved some money issues surrounding a troubled loan. After delaying its debut earlier this year, the development is now projected to open by 2016. Its new tenants will include L.A. Fitness and Austin’s Alamo Drafthouse Cinema.