Caruso plans resi high-rise in place of cinema at Calabasas mall 

Mixed-use makeover would add 120 units, shops and restaurants

Caruso Affiliated's Rick Caruso; rendering of 4799 Commons Way, Calabasas (Getty, Caruso Affiliated)

Caruso Affiliated’s Rick Caruso; rendering of 4799 Commons Way, Calabasas (Getty, Caruso Affiliated)

Developer Rick Caruso plans to bulldoze a movie theater at his outdoor shopping mall in Calabasas and replace it with nearly 120 homes, plus more than a dozen new shops and restaurants.

The former Los Angeles mayoral hopeful and his Fairfax-based company Caruso have filed plans to redevelop The Commons at Calabasas at 4719 Commons Way, The Acorn reported.

Plans call for the demolition of the Regency Theatres, which saw attendance sputter during the pandemic.

The multiplex would be replaced with ground-floor stores and restaurants topped by up to 119 apartments on two sections of the upscale 25-acre mall in the celebrity-rich city on the southwest edge of the San Fernando Valley. Twelve of the apartments would be affordable.

The theater at The Commons, the only movie house in Calabasas, opened as an Edwards Cinema in 1998, when the mall opened. The 33,000-square-foot theater was taken over by Regency last year when former owner Regal went bankrupt. 

Caruso retained ownership of the theater lease, and wants to tear down the building and replace it with a five-story, mixed use building with 101 apartments and 2,000 square feet of ground-floor shops.

Residents would have access to underground parking and a rooftop swimming pool. 

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The Commons central makeover calls for four mixed-use complexes in the parking lot in front of the theater, linked by grass and meandering walking paths, according to the Acorn.

Each building would be one to three stories high and contain a combined eight to 10 new boutique shops and three to five new restaurants on the ground floor. A combined 18 apartments would be on top.

The redevelopment will add 24,000 square feet of new retail space, plus the nearly 120 homes, to a segment of the shopping center to be called Commons Lane. The north and south edges of The Commons will remain untouched. A cost and timeline for the makeover wasn’t disclosed; the movie theater will stay open until further notice.

The homes would count toward the 354 new units that Calabasas must find room for by 2030 to satisfy its state-mandated housing element.

Caruso owns Caruso Affiliated, owner of The Grove at Farmers Market mall in Fairfax, where it is based. It also owns Americana at Brand in Glendale, Palisades Village in Pacific Palisades and other upscale shopping centers across the region.

The billionaire developer ran for mayor against Rep. Karen Bass, and was defeated in November after spending $100 million of his own money on the race.

— Dana Bartholomew

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