Del Amo Fashion Center
Sign over Carson Street
|Location||Torrance, California, United States|
|Management||Simon Property Group|
|Owner||JPMorgan Fleming Funds (25%),
Simon Property Group (50%),
& Farallon Cap. Mgt. (25%)
|No. of stores and services||200+ |
|No. of anchor tenants||6|
|Total retail floor area||2,600,000 sq ft (240,000 m2)|
|No. of floors||3|
With a gross leasable area (GLA) of 2.6 million ft², it is one of the largest shopping malls in the United States. The mall features a food court, several anchor stores, including two Macy's locations, Nordstroms, JCPenney and Sears, more than 200 retailers, multiple full-service restaurants, a fitness center, and an AMC Theatres multiplex.
In 2013, plans were introduced by Simon Property Group for a 200 million dollar complete overhaul of the north side of the mall. A new food court opened in the Fall of 2013, while the newly redesigned "Fashion Wing" on the north side officially debuted in October 2015 with Nordstrom being the new mall anchor.
Del Amo Fashion Center has evolved from an amalgamation of several developments on the eastern side of the intersection of Hawthorne Boulevard and Carson Street in Torrance, California by Guilford Glazer (#384 on Forbes Richest 400). From 1981 to 1992 it was the largest shopping mall in the US, reaching 3 million ft² in size at its largest. It was eclipsed as the largest with the opening of Mall of America on August 11, 1992.
In 1959, The Broadway opened the first store at what was then the open-air Del Amo Shopping Center south of Carson Street. The actual mall itself, as well as J.C. Penney and Sears, opened in 1961 at the southeast corner of Sepulveda Boulevard and Hawthorne Boulevard. In 1966, Bullock's opened at a small open-air shopping center it had developed north of Carson Street called Fashion Square (Bullock's developed several similarly named Fashion Squares, including ones in Sherman Oaks, La Habra and Santa Ana). I. Magnin, an affiliate of Bullock's opened a store in 1967 at Fashion Square, before the center was acquired in 1971 by Guilford Glazer and a major redevelopment begun.
In 1971, Del Amo Fashion Square, as the center on the north side of Carson Street was now called, reopened as a second mall and included additional anchors Montgomery Ward and Ohrbach's as well as an expanded I. Magnin. Glazer acquired neighboring Del Amo Center in 1978.
In November 1981  the two formerly separate centers were officially merged in the "marriage of the malls" to form the Del Amo Fashion Center, with the opening of a concourse over Carson Street that linked the Del Amo Fashion Square to a new J. W. Robinson's built at the northern end of the Del Amo Center. The existing infrastructure was also renovated at this time and included a food court (the "International Food Court") and a then-state-of-the-art computerized help system. Del Amo became the largest indoor shopping center in the world.
The center continued to evolve over the years as Ohrbach's closed in 1987 and became Swedish style furniture retailer STØR. When STØR went out of business in the early nineties, the property was used as a clearance center for STØR merchandise before being subdivided into Marshall's and TJ Maxx. I. Magnin followed in 1989 with part of their store eventually occupied by Old Navy, while Burlington Coat Factory opened in the basement of the former Del Amo Center. J. W. Robinson's became Robinsons-May in 1993.
In 1996, following the merger of Bullocks and The Broadway into Macy's, the former Bullock's became Macy's Apparel store, while the Macy’s south store (where the Broadway resided) was closed. At first the company attempted to sell the building, but after three years reopened it in July 1999 as a home and furniture gallery, its largest stand-alone home furnishing store in Southern California. The 50,000 square foot ground floor became a Jo-Ann’s fabric and crafts store.
Faced with a change in consumer shopping patterns, the consolidation of the department store industry, the existence of too many malls fragmenting the greater Los Angeles retail marketplace, lack of highway access and competition from the neighboring Nordstrom-anchored South Bay Galleria that opened in 1985, Del Amo began to suffer. Montgomery Ward dealt another blow when it closed following the chain's bankruptcy. This resulted in the closure of an entire wing of the mall.
In 2003, The Mills Corporation acquired Del Amo Fashion Center from the Guilford Glazer Family for $420 million (USD). Subsequently Mills sold a half-interest in the property to institutional investor funds managed by JPMorgan Fleming, before initiating a $160 million redevelopment including demolition and redevelopment the former northeast wing where Montgomery Ward had been located, the renovation of 670,000 ft² (62,000 m²) of existing space and the addition of another 100,000 ft² (9,300 m²). Robinsons-May converted to a second full-line Macy's on September 9, 2006.
The new open-air lifestyle center opened on September 14, 2006, bringing new specialty stores, dining, entertainment, a Lucky Strike Lanes (now occupied by Old Navy), and an AMC Theatres 18-screen multiplex to the mall. Crate & Barrel opened a home furnishings store along the mall perimeter in spring 2007, replacing an International House of Pancakes restaurant and a Sushi Boy store, which were both torn down.
In 2007, The Mills Corporation was jointly acquired by Simon Property Group and Farallon Capital Management. Simon assumed management of Del Amo Fashion Center at this time. In April 2008, the mall's website was placed under the Simon.com format along with sister Simon/Mills malls, like Ontario Mills, Hilltop Mall, the Block at Orange and Great Mall.
On March 18, 2010, Simon Properties announced that they would embark on a $200M multiyear remodel on the mall. Two years later, on February 28, 2012, plans for the Del Amo Fashion Center upgrade were presented to the city council. Unfortunately, the presentation proved vague and underwhelming -- no representatives from Simon were present, and the presentation focused primarily on the northern side, without any details on timelines or objectives. Furthermore, the changes presented were minor and superficial; the only proposals were to move the food court, install new skylights, and refresh the facade, to the consternation of many who were expecting a thorough makeover.
Simon Properties eventually returned in July 2013 with a completely revised and detailed proposal, outlining a 21-month plan to demolish and rebuild the north end of the Fashion Center, topped with a simulated flyover of the renovated mall. The section crossing over Carson Street would be converted to a new Food Court that debuted in time for the Fall 2013 holiday shopping season, while the rest of the north wing would be renovated starting in February 2014. Around the same time, Nordstrom announced that they were going to relocate to a new flagship store at Del Amo, nearly after 30 years of service at its Redondo Beach location at the South Bay Galleria.
On June 6, 2014, plans were made [between Del Amo and Simon Property Group] to consolidate the mall's three Macy's stores into two. While the Women's store remains in its place in the Bullock's building, Simon and Macy's swap properties, with the Robinsons-May location becoming a Macy's Men's and Home store, and Simon acquiring the former Broadway location. Meanwhile, Fasha Farshad Mahjoor, of Phenomenex, Inc., purchased the 15-acre parcel adjacent to the mall. The parcel was once owned by SunCal, and it housed a Montgomery Ward (now a parking lot for the Lifestyle Center), the Wards Auto Center (now vacant) and a Black Angus restaurant.
After eighteen months of construction, the northern portion of the mall officially opened on October 9, 2015. A medical building on the north end of the property and the existing one-story northern section were replaced with a two-story Fashion Wing, featuring a brighter and open "beach elegance" aesthetic to bring in more natural light and a mid-century modern look. In addition to the Nordstrom flagship, new stores include NYX Cosmetics, Hugo Boss, Arhaus, Kate Spade, Guess/Marciano, Michael Kors, J. Crew, Vince Camuto, Zara, a Victoria's Secret flagship store, Brooks Brothers, and Uniqlo, all supported by a four-level 2,000-car parking garage. Restaurants slated to appear in the open-patio restaurant row along the west side include Great Maple, Frida, and Din Tai Fung.
Renovation of the southern half of the mall has begun, with new signage and landscaping to match the redesigned north end. Signs have named the south end the "Del Amo Shopping Center," placing the focus on general-purpose retail. Future plans include new tile floors, new glass handrails, LED lighting, and new entrances.
The Del Amo was a central location and plot element of the Quentin Tarantino film Jackie Brown. In addition the mall was prominently featured in Martha Coolidge's Valley Girl and used as the mall backdrop for Bad Santa.
Anchors and major tenants
- AMC Del Amo 18 (opened 2006)
- Crate & Barrel (38,000 ft²; opened May 17, 2007)
- Hugo Boss
- J. C. Penney
- Kate Spade
- Macy's Women's & Children's (251,892 ft²; opened 1966 as Bullock's)
- Macy's Men's and Home (171,415 ft²; opened 1981 as J. W. Robinson's)
- Nordstrom (140,000 ft²; opened October 6, 2015)
- NYX Cosmetics (opened October 8, 2015)
- Old Navy (20,318 ft²)
- Sears (313,495 ft²; opened 1961)
- Uniqlo (opened October 23, 2015)
- Urban Outfitters (12,700 ft) Opened in 2006
- Victoria's Secret
- "About Del Amo Fashion Center". Simon. Simon Property Group. Archived from the original on 28 September 2014. Retrieved 28 September 2014.
Del Amo Fashion Center is the largest mall in the South Bay - boasting over 200 stores.
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