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||255 (as of 2021)|
|No. of anchor tenants||7 (6 open, 1 vacant)|
|Total retail floor area||2,500,000 sq ft (230,000 m2)|
|No. of floors||3 (1 in Burlington Coat Factory, 2 in Dick's Sporting Goods, JCPenney, and Nordstrom, and former Sears, 4 in Macy's North)|
With a gross leasable area (GLA) of 2.5 million sq ft (230,000 m2), it is the seventh largest shopping mall in the United States. The mall features the Patio Cafes food court (including Los Angeles-grown Pink's Hot Dogs), several anchor stores, including two newly renovated Macy's locations (Women's & Men's/Home & Furniture), start-of-the-art Nordstrom, AMC Theatres, Crate and Barrel, Barnes and Noble, Dick's Sporting Goods, Jo-Ann Fabrics, Dave & Buster's, Japanese supermarket Mitsuwa Marketplace, a LA Fitness location, JCPenney, Marshalls, 255 retailers, 13 full-service restaurants, & a Sears that recently closed in September 2020.
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 United States, reaching 3 million ft² (280,000 m2) in size at its largest. It was eclipsed as the largest with the opening of Mall of America on August 11, 1992.
South side: Broadway/Del Amo Shopping Center
On February 16, 1959, The Broadway opened its store at Hawthorne and Sepulveda boulevards, the ninth in Greater Los Angeles, and over the next two years the open-air Del Amo Shopping Center was built adjacent to it, south of Carson Street. Silverwoods opened what was also its ninth L.A.-area store here in November 1960. Most of the rest of the center opened in stages in early 1961 with additional anchors JCPenney, Sears and Woolworth's. Other stores that opened in 1961 were Lerner's, Leed's Shoes and Ontra Cafeteria; and later C. H. Baker Shoes, Judy's Sportwear, Helen Morgan Women's Shop, The Men's Shop, Tot's Toggery and Suburban Shop, Singer Sewing Shop, Mandel's Shoes, Varon's Jewelry, and Children's Shoe Store.
North side: Bullock's/Del Amo Fashion Square
In 1966, Bullock's opened at a small open-air shopping center it had developed north of Carson Street called Bullock's Fashion Square — advertising and editorial in the first years referred to "Bullock's Fashion Square in Torrance", not Del Amo. Bullock's developed several similarly named Fashion Squares, including ones in Sherman Oaks, La Habra and Santa Ana. I. Magnin, owned by Bullock's, opened a store on March 6, 1967.
In February 1970, Federated Department Stores replaced its Bullock's Realty Corporation, which owned and managed the Fashion Squares, with an organization called Transwest Management; Transwest sold the Torrance Fashion Square in March of that year to new co-owners Great Lakes and Guilford Glazer and Associates, while selling the three other Fashion Squares to Urban Investment and Development Company (UIDC).
In 1971, the center was rebaptized Del Amo Fashion Square and added a $3.75 million, 177,000-square-foot (16,400 m2) Montgomery Ward, a 90,000-square-foot (8,400 m2) Ohrbach's and an expanded I. Magnin, as well as a United Artists fourplex theater which later received 2 additional larger auditoriums, and a Woolworth's, both of which were in the Montgomery Ward wing. Glazer acquired neighboring Del Amo Center in 1978.
"Marriage of the malls"
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. In 1991, the United Artists theater closed when a 9-screen Mann theater opened outside of the mall on Del Amo Circle to the east of J. W. Robinson's. When STØR went out of business in the early 1990s, the property was used as a clearance center for STØR merchandise before being subdivided into Marshall's and TJ Maxx in the late 1990s. 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 West, 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 to Bloomingdale's, but after three years reopened it in July 1999 as a Macy's 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. In 1997, Woolworth's became Venator in accordance with the chain's renaming.
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. In 2000, the Mann theater closed in accordance with the chain's folding and became LA Fitness. The same year, a Barnes & Noble store was constructed in the mall's northwest parking lot. Montgomery Ward dealt another blow when it closed following the chain's bankruptcy in June 2001 and failed to become[discuss] Target. This resulted in the closure of an entire wing of the mall, including Venator.
In early 2002, The Mills Corporation acquired Del Amo Fashion Center from Glazer's family for $420 million (USD). Subsequently, Mills sold a half-interest in the property to institutional investor funds managed by JPMorgan Fleming, before, in June 2005, initiating a $160 million redevelopment including demolition and redevelopment of the former northeastern 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 West on September 9, 2006 called Macy's South, while Macy's Apparel was renamed Macy's North.
The new open-air lifestyle center opened on September 14, 2006, bringing new specialty stores (including Free People, Urban Outfitters, Anthropologie, Sunglass Hut, Origins, Francesca's Collections, Ann Taylor, Loft, New York and Company, and a two-story flagship Forever 21), 7 dining establishments (Jerry's Famous Deli - closed by 2010 and replaced with Vegas buffet, BJ's Restaurant & Brewery, P.F. Changs, R.A. Sushi, Lazy Dog Restaurant and Bar, and Buffalo Wild Wings), entertainment, a Lucky Strike Lanes (now occupied by Old Navy as of 2014), 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 IHOP restaurant and a Sushi Boy store. A Hollister store and a new H&M location located near the new outdoor village area within the old existing indoor part of the mall around the same time.
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.
In late 2012, detailed plans to redevelop Del Amo on a much larger scale were unveiled. The mall's north end would be demolished entirely, replaced by a new two-level Californian coastal-designed wing of luxury shops, expanding this mall into one of the largest malls in Southern California and back to the top 10 largest malls in the United States with the intention to stop the leaking of and to gain market share from the more affluent shopping centers in West LA (namely Westfield Century City and Third Street Promenade) and Orange County (namely the Irvine Spectrum, Fashion Island, and South Coast Plaza) In conjunction with the renovation, Nordstrom announced it would relocate its store from the South Bay Galleria in nearby Redondo Beach to Del Amo, anchoring the new wing. This much grander plan was meant to finally re-establish this property as the premier shopping center of the South Bay region of Los Angeles and revitalize this long-neglected, massive mall into one cohesive property with one distinct architectural style.
The first phase of the project, redeveloping the wing of shops above Carson Street into a new food court, renamed Patio Cafes, began in 2013. Work was completed in the spring of the following year, as retailers began vacating the north wing to make way for the renovation.
Plans to consolidate the mall's three Macy's stores into two were confirmed in 2014, with Macy's consolidating its standalone Macy's Home store into the existing Macy's Men's store. Simon then traded ownership of the Macy's Men's building for the Macy's Home building. Dick's Sporting Goods moved into the former Macy's Home space in early 2017 meanwhile the Jo-Ann Fabrics store on the ground floor of said began began renovation in early 2019 and completed in mid 2020.
After 18 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. The wing featured a mix of new-to-market retailers and holdovers from the former north end, including luxury retailers BOSS Hugo Boss, Kate Spade New York, Michael Kors, Tumi, and Brooks Brothers; European furniture retailer Arhaus & Z Gallerie; and flagship stores for Uniqlo, H&M, Express, Zara, Banana Republic, Cotton On, adidas, JD Sports (formerly Finish Line), lululemon, J. Crew, Madewell, Tesla, Pressed Juicery, Sephora, Ben Bridge Jewelers, LensCrafters, Steve Madden, JINS Eyewear, Chico's, Urban Decay, Innisfree, Nature Republic, Guess, Calvin Klein underwear store, Me Undies, Morphe Cosmetics, White House Black Market, Brazilian retailer Melissa Shoes, Alex and Ani, David's Tea, Vans shoe retailer, Foot Locker, Disney Store, Pandora Jewelry, Kay Jewelers, Travis Matthews, LUSH Cosmetics, Belgian chocolate retailer Godiva Chocolatier, Janie & Jack, Skin Laundry, a Kiehl's boutique, The Body Shop, L'Occitaine, a relocated flagship PacSun, newly relocated flagship Hollister, flagship Tilly's, Oakley, Billabong, Fabletics, women's retailer Garage, MAC Cosmetics, Uncle Tetsu's Japanese Cheesecake, BoxLunch, FootAction/Flight 23 stores, Cinnabon, Auntie Anne's, Somi Somi Soft Serve & Taikiyaki, a Casper mattress store, and Victoria's Secret.
Several new and relocated restaurants fronted the new wing: local chains EMC Seafood & Raw Bar, Lemonade, Popbar, and FRIDA; popular Taiwanese dim sum eatery Din Tai Fung, Great Maple - Modern American Eatery (which closed in October 2018), a prototype Brio Tuscan Grille, and a relocated flagship Lucille's Smokehouse Bar-B-Que.
The south end of the property experienced minor renovations in line with the more elaborate north end changes, including signs delineating the wing "Del Amo Shopping Center" with a focus on general-purpose retail. In 2018, renovation plans were completed to replace a significant portion of the south end's inline retail space with a start-of-the-art Dave & Buster's and a relocated Marshalls store. Outback Steakhouse, which was displaced by construction on the south end, reopened in the Outdoor Village on July 7, 2018.
Meanwhile, Mitsuwa Marketplace opened in the old TJ Maxx (which closed in 2016) and Marshall's (which also closed in 2018) building that is part of the lifestyle outdoor village in November 2019.
As casualties of the COVID-19 pandemic-induced recession, and California statewide closures, the protypical BRIO Tuscan Grille closed in mid-March, along with Guess, Me Undies, Innisfree, and New York and Company. On July 1, 2020, it was announced that Sears would be closing after nearly 61 years of serving the South Bay. This store along with 28 other stores nationwide shuttered on September 6, 2020. Said 22.4 acre Sears property (which includes the Original Sears Building, the branded auto shops, adjacent office building, and the surrounding parking lot) is set to be liquidated and bought by Simon Property Group by ~$110 million. 
Despite these closures, Italian retailer Intimissimi & Calzedonia opened a store in the new luxury wing in October 2020 while American burger restauranteur Slater 50/50 is set to open sometime in 2021.
The Del Amo Fashion Center was a central location and plot element of the 1997 Quentin Tarantino film Jackie Brown, though most of the mall scenes took place at a fictional department store in the mall, called Billingsley, which was actually just the north Macy's store with a prop Billingsley sign put up over the Macy's sign. In addition, the mall was prominently featured in Martha Coolidge's Valley Girl, the mall's abandoned Montgomery Ward wing was used as the "Saguaro Square Mall" backdrop for the 2003 film Bad Santa with a fictional department store called Chamberlain's put up in the vacant Montgomery Ward building, and the mall was also used for scenes in the comedy film Why Him?. The mall was also used in Season 1, Episode 2 of the show Euphoria on HBO.
The Barnes & Noble store located in the northwest parking lot of the mall was the location used for the chain's 2012 holiday TV ad.
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