The Los Angeles Rams are looking to buy a defunct shopping mall in Woodland Hills for a training camp for future Super Bowl wins.
The NFL team is now negotiating a deal for The Promenade, a nearly shuttered mall at Oxnard Street and Topanga Canyon Boulevard, to build a team practice facility, according to the Los Angeles Times, citing unnamed sources familiar with the talks.
If a deal is done, the recent Super Bowl champs could pay more than $150 million for the 34-acre site – large enough that Rams owner Stan Kroenke could build a practice facility and team headquarters, then surround it with a mixed-use development.
That’s what he did at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood: buy the property, build the stadium, then develop the land around it. The cost was $5 billion.
The Rams have practiced at SoFi Stadium and Cal Lutheran in Thousand Oaks during their regular seasons, and staged pre-season training camp at UC Irvine in Orange County for several years.
The Rams and Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield, the owners of the west San Fernando Valley mall property, declined to comment.
The mall opened in 1973 as the Woodland Hills Promenade, a chic shopping destination anchored by J. W. Robinson’s, Bullocks Wilshire and Saks Fifth Avenue. But by 2017, the mall had all but closed, except for a movie theater, a U.S. Post Office and a few restaurants.
Its then owner, Westfield Corp., unveiled plans for a $1.5 billion “live, work and play” village of boutiques, restaurants, art galleries, hotels and creative work offices wrapped around a park filled with as many as 500 native trees. The Westfield Promenade 2035 plan was to be highlighted by a 15,000 square-foot sports and entertainment arena.
Soon afterward, the Los Angeles Dodgers looked at moving one of their minor league teams into a ballpark built on the former Promenade property. The 7,000-seat ballpark would also have been available for concerts and community events.
Then the Los Angeles Angels vetoed the plan, citing Major League Baseball competition rules.
The Los Angeles Chargers, who share SoFi Stadium with the Rams, agreed in November to move their practice facility from Costa Mesa to El Segundo, as part of a training complex that would include a team headquarters. The 14-acre project is set to be completed in 2024.
[LA Times] — Dana Bartholomew