MainPlace Mall

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MainPlace Mall
MainPlaceMall sign.jpg
The MainPlace Santa Ana entrance sign in November 2006
LocationSanta Ana, California, United States
Coordinates33°46′31″N 117°52′10″W / 33.77523°N 117.86957°W / 33.77523; -117.86957Coordinates: 33°46′31″N 117°52′10″W / 33.77523°N 117.86957°W / 33.77523; -117.86957
Address2800 N. Main Street
Opening dateSeptember 26, 1987
DeveloperJMB Property
ManagementCentennial Real Estate Company
OwnerCentennial Real Estate Company
Montgomery Street Partners
USAA Real Estate Company
Westfield Corporation (20%)
ArchitectJon Jerde
No. of stores and services155 (as of 2018)
No. of anchor tenants3 (2 open, 1 vacant)[1]
Total retail floor area1,109,800 sq ft (103,100 m2)[1]
No. of floors3
Parking5,300 [1]

MainPlace Mall (formerly known as Westfield MainPlace) is a shopping mall at the north edge of Santa Ana, California, adjacent to the City of Orange and the Orange Crush interchange of the Santa Ana, Garden Grove and Orange freeways. It is anchored by Macy's and JCPenney.


Anchor stores, current and former

Current tenant Former tenants/branding
Macy's opened as Bullock's, original tenant of Fashion Square 1958, rebranded as Macy's
I. Magnin original tenant of Fashion Square 1958, closed 1987, demolished
J.C. Penney opened as May Co., 1991; rebranded as Robinson's-May Women's & Children's store, closed Sep. 2006; since March 2007 J.C. Penney
(currently empty) Nordstrom: 169,000 square feet (15,700 m2); original tenant of MainPlace 1987, closed 2017[2]
24 Hour Fitness, Ashley HomeStore, Round One Entertainment J.W. Robinson's: original tenant of MainPlace 1987, rebranded as Robinson's-May Men's and Home Store, rebranded as Macy's Men's and Home Store, closed 2012

Fashion Square[edit]

MainPlace Santa Ana was built on the site of the much smaller open-air center that Los Angeles-based department store Bullock's opened in 1958, first called Bullock's Fashion Square, then later (as Bullock's opened Fashion Square malls in other Southern California suburbs), Santa Ana Fashion Square.[3] The center cost Bullock's $11.5 million to build and, like the Theme Building at LAX and other Los Angeles landmark buildings, was designed by Pereira & Luckman. The concept was new — a small, decidedly upscale selection of mostly fashion stores surrounding the centerpiece, Bullock's Santa Ana — at the time, Bullocks advertised, named and bought for its branch stores individually, as a sign that they were tailored to their local communities.

The total gross buildable area of Bullock's Santa Ana was 340,000 square feet (32,000 m2), with only 238,000 square feet (22,100 m2) occupied by other retailers. Bullock's would build three other Fashion Squares on the Santa Ana model: San Fernando Valley Fashion Square (now Sherman Oaks Fashion Square in 1962, Del Amo Fashion Square in September 1966 and La Habra Fashion Square in April 1968.[4]

Bullock's Fashion Square thus debuted with 32 stores including branches of boutique department stores I. Magnin, Desmond's, Haggarty's and Mandel's, plus the Jolly Roger restaurant. There was parking for 3000 cars and opening day drew crowds of 40,000 people from across Orange County, according to the Los Angeles Times.[5][6][7]

Panoramic view of MainPlace Mall
Mall exterior
Mall interior

Transition to MainPlace[edit]

After a period of decline, JMB Property demolished most of the shopping center, except for the anchors, and had it replaced by MainPlace in 1987.[6][7] Bullock's chose to stay on while I. Magnin ultimately decided not to remain and therefore closed on February 14, 1987. Along with Bullock's, Nordstrom and J.W. Robinson's were the new anchors when MainPlace first opened. In November 1990, a new wing opened with May Company California opening in May 1991 as the mall's fourth anchor store. By January 1993, Robinson's merged with May Company to become Robinsons-May and as a result, the May Company store closed and reopened as the Robinsons-May Women's & Children's store while the Robinson's store closed and reopened as the Robinsons-May Men's & Home store and the Bullock's became Macy's in May 1996.

In 2000, JMB Urban, the successor to JMB, sold Mainplace and other mall properties to the American branch of Rodamco. Rodamco, in turn, sold it North American properties to Westfield in 2002[8] and Westfield renamed the property Westfield Shoppingtown MainPlace. Westfield later renamed the Westfield MainPlace in 2005.[9]

By September 2006, the Robinsons-May Women and Children's store closed due to the chain being acquired by Macy's & Bloomingdale's in which the Robinsons-May Men's & Home store remained opened but became the Macy's Men's and Home store. In March 2007, JCPenney opened in the vacant Robinsons-May Women's & Children's store.

In 2006, Westfield Group sought to revamp the mall in the face of losing local retail market share to South Coast Plaza, California's largest and highest-volume mall, only 6.5 miles (10.5 km) to the south.[10] In 2014, Westfield announced a $50 million renovation to the mall.[11] + In 2006, Westfield Group sought to revamp the mall in the face of losing local retail market share to the South Coast Plaza.[10] In 2014, Westfield announced a $50 million renovation to the mall.[11]

Macy's closed its Men's & Home Store at the mall in 2012, and consolidated those merchandise categories into the main store. The building, originally the J.W. Robinson's store, was split between 24 Hour Fitness, Ashley Furniture Home Store, and an entertainment center.[12] In December 2015, Westfield sold the mall to a consortium that was headed by Centennial Real Estate Company and included Montgomery Street Partners and USAA Real Estate Company.[13]

Nordstrom, an original anchor when MainPlace opened in September 1987, closed in 2017.[14][2]

Plans for transformation[edit]

By 2018-9, MainPlace Mall had seen 35 store closures and a $54 million drop in gross sales over a two-year period. In March 2019, the announced plans for a $300 million transformation that would finally turn MainPlace mixed-use development, adding a food hall in "European marketplace" style, an interactive, educational play center for kids and upgrades to its movie theater, a grocery store and two apartment communities with 700 new residential units. Together with new residential communities adjacent to the mall, there would be a total of 3,000 new residential units in the immediate area.[15]


  1. ^ a b c "Mainplace Mall Website". Retrieved 2019-10-30.
  2. ^ a b
  3. ^ Galante, Mary Ann (July 3, 1988). "MainPlace: The Selling Job Isn't Over : The Reborn Mall's Developers Are Happy, but Some Tenants Are Disappointed". Los Angeles Times.
  4. ^ Cole, David K. (1976). Main Place: a Look at a Multi-use Redevelopment (PDF) (Bachelor of Science thesis). University of Illinois.
  5. ^ “Santa Ana's Fashion Square makes debut", Los Angeles Times, 18 September 1958, part 3, page 1
  6. ^ a b Galante, Mary Ann (September 3, 1987). "Main Place Adds to Retail Space Race". Los Angeles Times.
  7. ^ a b Horovitz, Bruce (May 22, 1985). "New Name, New Face for Fashion Square". Los Angeles Times.
  8. ^ Howard, Bob (January 29, 2002). "Westfield to Gain Stakes in 3 Malls: The firm will acquire MainPlace in Santa Ana plus interests in Century City Shopping Center and Valencia Town Center in Santa Clarita in Rodamco buyout". Los Angeles Times.
  9. ^ Albright, Mark (June 1, 2005). "If you didn't call them 'shoppingtowns,' don't: Three local malls that called themselves by the Australian name will quietly drop the label". Tampa Bay Times.
  10. ^ a b Nguyen, Hang (August 2, 2006). "MainPlace mixes it up". Orange County Register.
  11. ^ a b "New stores and eateries coming to Westfield MainPlace". Orange County Register. August 25, 2014. Retrieved December 26, 2014.
  12. ^ "Macy's to close O.C. store". Orange County Register. June 21, 2012.
  13. ^ Collins, Jeff (December 21, 2015). "Santa Ana's MainPlace mall sold in $1.1 billion deal including four other malls nationwide". Orange County Register.
  14. ^
  15. ^

External links[edit]