Santa Clarita prepares for possible Westfield mall sale

City seeks public input about Valencia Town Center as owner divests US assets

Santa Clarita mayor Jason Gibbs; Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield's Jean-Marie Tritant; 24201 West Valencia Boulevard, Santa Clarita (Facebook, Getty, City of Santa Clarita, Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield)
Santa Clarita mayor Jason Gibbs; Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield's Jean-Marie Tritant; 24201 West Valencia Boulevard, Santa Clarita (Facebook, Getty, City of Santa Clarita, Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield)

The Westfield Valencia Town Center mall in Santa Clarita may be headed to the zombie door.

The city is preparing for the likelihood that the 31-year-old indoor mall at 24201 West Valencia Boulevard may near the end of its lifecycle, the Santa Clarita Valley Signal reported.

The City of Santa Clarita, expecting an imminent sale by Paris-based Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield of the shopping mall property, has posted a newspaper ad for a public meeting next month seeking input on the Town Center site in Valencia.

It asks for the public on May 4 to “help us craft a long-term vision for a reimagined Town Center in our city.” 

The 1-million-square-foot mall, which opened in 1992 as Valencia Town Center, has 114 stores, according to its website. The 53-acre mall has six anchor tenants, including Macy’s, JCPenney, Forever 21, Cinemacenter Cinema, H&M and Gold’s Gym.

In April 2021, Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield scuttled a $100 million plan to replace its defunct Sears anchor with a Costco, gym and luxury movie theater.

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In January, The Signal reported the French mall operator defaulted on a $195 million loan tied to its Santa Clarita property. The company said it was working with its lenders.  

Santa Clarita officials pointed toward the firm’s U.S. divestiture of mall properties from New York to Woodland Hills as a harbinger for a Westfield Valencia Town Center sale. In January, URW sold its 1.5-million-square-foot mall in Arcadia for $538 million.

“So, I expect that there will be a new owner of the mall and that that will probably happen sometime soon,” Jason Crawford, director of community development for the City of Santa Clarita, told the Signal. “It could be in the next month or two.”

The city wants to let the next developer that might take over the property have an idea of what the city wants there, based on residents’ input, Crawford said of the public meeting.

What the city calls Town Center is the region near Magic Mountain and McBean parkways and Valencia Boulevard that includes the mall, a former L.A. County Sheriff’s station, library, courthouse and Regal movie theater. It’s zoned for mixed-use residential and commercial development.

— Dana Bartholomew

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