Buena Park Downtown

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Buena Park Downtown
Buena Park Sears.jpg
Sears at Buena Park Downtown
LocationBuena Park, California
Coordinates33°50′43″N 117°59′22″W / 33.845141°N 117.989382°W / 33.845141; -117.989382Coordinates: 33°50′43″N 117°59′22″W / 33.845141°N 117.989382°W / 33.845141; -117.989382
Address8308 On the Mall
Opening date1961
DeveloperJohn S. Griffith[1]
OwnerBuena Park Downtown
No. of stores and services80
No. of anchor tenants5 (4 open, 1 vacant)
Total retail floor area1,100,000 square feet (100,000 m2)
No. of floors2 (1 in Bed Bath & Beyond, Ross Dress For Less, TJ Maxx, and Walmart, 3rd floor offices in former Sears)

Buena Park Downtown, formerly Buena Park Mall, is an enclosed shopping mall located on La Palma Avenue in Buena Park, California, United States, near Knott's Berry Farm. Currently owned by Coventry Real Estate Advisors,[2] the mall is anchored by Bed Bath & Beyond, Ross Dress For Less, TJ Maxx, and Walmart with one vacant space last occupied by Sears.

As of 2007 it is the 20th largest mall in Orange County, with around 1,100,000 square feet (100,000 m2) of retail space. It has languished in sales, however; at $123 million, it brings in half of other malls its size, such as WP Glimcher's Westminster Mall and Westfield MainPlace.[3]


Built in 1961, the Buena Park Mall was one of the first malls in Orange County, anchored by JCPenney, Sears, and May Company California (which opened in 1963). [4] A United Artists movie theater opened in August 1984, to close in 1999;[5] the space was converted for retail use, and became 24 Hour Fitness in 2007. May Company closed in January 1993 as one of the 12 J. W. Robinson's and May Company stores closing due to the merging of the two department stores to form Robinson's-May and in November of that same year, the closed May Company became a discount chain Fedco.[6]

The mall was neglected in the 1980s and 1990s even as the local retail market changed.[7] In 1995 a group controlled by the Pritzker family of Chicago bought the mall for $41 million from Australia's City Freeholds, Inc., and planned a $120 million renovation.[4]

The modernization was stalled for several years. After FedCo closed, the leaseholder sought to sublet the space to Gigante, a Mexican supermarket chain, and opposed a major renovation. Target, which had acquired FedCo in 1999, refused to allow the lease to be transferred to another discount retailer.[8] Finally, in late 2001, the city of Buena Park itself paid $3.2 million to take over the Fedco lease and transfer it to Walmart, which now occupies the space.[7][9] Completed in 2003, the renovation also replaced the former JCPenney with a new Krikorian Theaters multiplex.[5]

Burlington Coat Factory, a later addition, closed in 2005 and was replaced with Steve & Barry's which closed in 2008. Tower Records also operated in the mall until the demise of the chain in 2007. The Chicago eatery Portillo's opened their first Southern California outlet at the mall in 2005, next to the Pat & Oscar's, along the La Palma edge of the parking lot. Steve & Barry's closed in 2009.[4] Circuit City was formerly one of the principal stores of Buena Park Place, but closed in 2009 due to its bankruptcy.

On November 7, 2019, it was announced that Sears would be closing this location as part of a plan to close 96 stores nationwide. The store closed on February 2, 2020 making it the last original anchor store to close.[10]


  1. ^ "Additional units open at Buena Park Center". The Los Angeles Times. March 26, 1961. pp. J8. Retrieved December 31, 2020.
  2. ^ "Coventry Real Estate Advisors Portfolio". Coventry Real Estate Advisors. Coventry Real Estate Advisors. Retrieved 11 May 2015.
  3. ^ Cruz, Sherri (October 22–28, 2007). "Buena Park Downtown Pins Growth on John's". Orange County Business Journal.
  4. ^ a b c Mello, Michael (October 28, 2008). "City to buy Buena Park mall?". Orange County Register.
  5. ^ a b "Buena Park Mall". 70mm Equipped Theatre Pictures.
  6. ^ Longo, Don (December 6, 1993). "Fedco debuts tri-level unit for universal appeal". Discount Store News.
  7. ^ a b Bellantonio, Jennifer (March 11, 2002). "Buena Park Mall nearing last stages in $70M makeover". Orange County Business Journal.
  8. ^ Cholo-Tipton, Ana (April 4, 2000). "Mall's Future Is in Flux: Movies or Market?". Los Angeles Times. p. B-5.
  9. ^ Businesses - Redevelopment Projects & Success Stories Archived April 4, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  10. ^ Tyko, Kelly; Bomey, Nathan (November 7, 2019). "Sears and Kmart store closings: 51 Sears, 45 Kmart locations to shutter. See the list". USA Today. Retrieved November 7, 2019.

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