Westfield Palm Desert
View of the mall as seen from CA SR 111
|Location||Palm Desert, California|
|Address||72-840 California 111, Palm Desert, CA 92260|
|Opening date||October 1982|
|Developer||The Hahn Company|
|Architect||Millard Archuleta/Robert H. Riciardi & Associates|
|No. of stores and services||122|
|No. of anchor tenants||5|
|Total retail floor area||980,041 sq ft (91,048.8 m2)|
|No. of floors||2 (3 for Sears/Robinson's)|
Westfield Palm Desert, is a shopping mall located in Palm Desert, California which serves the Coachella Valley. The mall is presently owned through a joint venture between O'Connor Capital Partners and Westfield Corporation.
The shopping center was developed by Ernest W. Hahn in 1982 and opened as Palm Desert Town Center. The $75 million project spanned 62 acres and included four major department stores, 130 inline shops, an 8-screen theater, a food court and an indoor ice skating rink. Other stores included "What's Up" and The Balboa Beach Company. A small arcade called The Yellow Brick Road was on the second level above the skating rink, next to the food court. Original anchor stores were May Company, Bonwit Teller, JCPenney, and Bullock's.
In 1987, Bonwit Teller decided to close all of its Californian stores and its spot at the mall was taken by Bullocks Wilshire. This was the first time that a Bullocks Wilshire store was located in the same mall with a Bullock's store. A fifth anchor, J.W. Robinson's, opened a few months later in 1987. After developing and managing the property for a number of years, Hahn was able to purchase the property from its owner, Palm Desert Town Center Associates, in 1989.
In February 1993, both J.W. Robinson's and May Company stores rebranded as Robinsons-May. In August 1999, Westfield America, Inc., announced it had acquired Palm Desert Town Center from TrizecHahn Corporation, the successor to Hahn, for $82 million. Following the acquisition, the name became Westfield Shoppingtown Palm Desert. However, in 2005 the company migrated away from this branding strategy and dropped 'Shoppingtown' from most of its U.S. properties. The mall became Westfield Palm Desert.
Over the years the mall has gone through many changes resulting from various mergers and acquisitions in the retail industry. This resulted in consolidation of regional department stores and ultimately led to vacant anchor spaces at the mall, like the consolidation of the two Robinsons-May stores in 2002, leaving the other one (former J.W. Robinson's) to Sears, which opened in November 2004. Barnes & Noble moved into the mall in 2003. In September 2006, Robinsons-May rebranded to Macy's, closing the original Bullock's/Macy's store.
In 2013, a renovation plan began which involved converting a two-level vacant anchor space on the north side to Dick's Sporting Goods (upper level) and World Gym on the first level of the space.  In addition, a partially vacant two-level anchor on the south side was converted into a Grand Entrance with frontage on California State Route 111, a busy thoroughfare running through the city. The demolition involved preservation of the subterranean level of the space previously occupied by Bullock's. Macy's incorporated this space into its existing furniture store which is situated below Barnes & Noble. The Grand Entrance includes new sit-down restaurants and retail space and is accented with decorative water fountains.
An expansion plan announced in 2006 included the addition of a full line Nordstrom department store on the north and a significant remodel and expansion of the existing theater. The plan never came to fruition given the economic downturn.
As of December 2014, Westfield Palm Desert featured 151 specialty stores and was 95.1% leased. The 980,041-square-foot mall offers 495,538-square-feet of specialty store space and has significant potential for future expansion.
On November 7, 2019, it was announced that Sears would be closing this location a part of a plan to close 96 stores nationwide. The store will close in February 2020.
- Gruszecki, Debra (February 24, 2015). "Palm Desert: Westfield to sell interest in Palm Desert mall". Riverside Press-Enterprise.
- "Westfield Palm Desert". Westfield Corp.
- "Palm Springs History - The Developers, Ernest Hahn". Palm Springs Life. May 1980.
- "$75-million Palm Desert Town Center Under Way". Los Angeles Times. July 13, 1980. p. k28.
Development is under way on the $75-mllllon Palm Desert Town Center regional shopping center, scheduled to open In the fall of 1982. ...being built at California 111 and Monterey Avenue. Ernest W. Hahn Inc. and James L. Burke Jr. the developers, will pay $5,345,000 toward road and other improvements near the 64-acre project site. The project will include a 106,000-square-foot May Co., a 109,000-square-foot Bullock's, a 109,000-square-foot Montgomery Ward with auto center, a 38,000-square-foot Buffums, a fifth major department store and 130 specialty shops and restaurants. Also included will be an eight-screen movie complex.Alternate Link via ProQuest.
- Green, Terence M. (April 19, 1981). "Shopping Center Will Feature Four Major Stores". Los Angeles Times. p. h1.
A new, $75-million shopping center with an unusually large commitment to community activities will be built in Palm Desert by Ernest W. Hahn Inc. of El Segundo and James L. Burke Jr. of Palos Verdes Estates, with construction to begin in the fall. When the Palm Desert Town Center opens in 1983, the 742,000-square-foot complex will have two climate-controlled levels on a 62-acre site at California 111 and Monterey Avenue. Anchor tenants will be May Co., Bullock's, Buffums and Bonwit Teller. "The architecture will reflect a desert theme and recall the rich Indian heritage of the area"... ...a sunken plaza will be stepped gradually down to the lower level of the structure. It may be used as an outdoor amphitheater for art or fashion shows and civic activities. The center's upper level will house the "food court" and seating, while restaurants on the lower level will overlook the Ice Capades Chalet, open to the public. Other planned facilities include a 4,500-square-foot day care center, a children's play area, more than 3,000 square feet of community facilities, including a community hall and an audio-visual learning center, and a 25,000-square-foot, eight-screen movie center. The four two-level anchor stores will offer a total of 307,000 square feet of retail space, the May Co. with 106,000 square feet, Bullock's with 109,000, Buffums with 38,000 and Bonwit Teller with 54,000. A fifth department store is contemplated later and there will be 130 mall shops.Alternate Link via ProQuest.
- Mitchell, Mike (April 13, 1982). "Palm Desert Town Center to open Fall '83". Los Angeles Times. p. l1.
Hahn is developing the Palm Desert Town Center on 63 acres at Highway III and Monterey Avenue in Palm Desert, some 10 miles from Palm Springs. lt will be the Valley's first regional enclosed mall. The rest of the mall, with a total of five major department stores and 130 mall shops spanning 775,000 square feet, should open in fall 1983. Plans for the mall began in 1978 and the current shaky economy notwithstanding, Hahn officials are optimistic. The site will also include a half-acre outdoor play area, a child care center, a seven-screen theater, a chamber of commerce information center and community meeting rooms. Besides May Co. the mall will include Bonwit Teller, Bullock's, J.C. Penney and a fifth department store not yet determined. In addition, the mall will include an indoor Ice Capades Chalet ice skating rink.Alternate Link via ProQuest.
- "New May Co. unit a Palm Desert hit". WWD. 144 (78). October 21, 1982. p. 12.
The May Co. California's recent opening in the Palm Desert Shopping Center here was the best start of any new May Co. store in the last five years, The 125,000-square-foot, two-level store, which opened Oct. 6, did approximately $400,000 the first week, sources indicate. The May Co., the first store to open in this five-anchor Ernest Hahn development... Palm Desert is the May Co.'s 34th store and the only new unit opened this year. No new May Co. stores are planned for 1983.Link via ProQuest.
- "Bonwit's Calif, Unit Will Open Oct. 14". WWD. 146 (63). September 29, 1983. p. 8.
Bonwit Teller will open its 14th unit Oct. 14 in Palm Desert, Calif. It is Bonwit's second store to open in California since completion of the Beverly Hills unit in 1971. The store, which contains 58,000 square feet on two levels is expected to do $10 million to $15 million in sales the first full year, according to market sources. It is located in the Palm Desert Town Center, which Ruben described as "the only major air-conditioned center in the valley." The other anchors in the mall are Bullock's, May Co. California and J.C. Penney, Ruben said. There's more competition 10 miles away in Palm Springs with Saks Fifth Avenue, I. Magnin, Bullock's Wilshire and J.W. Robinson Co. The last branch that Bonwit's built was the Bal Harbour, Fla., unit, which opened in October 1981.Link via ProQuest.
- "J.C. Penny Store to Open". Los Angeles Times. March 20, 1982. p. sg21.
The J.C. Penney store at the Palm Springs Mall will close just before the opening of the new store at Palm Desert Towne Centre in Fall 1983. Penney's will build at 92,000 square feet, two-level store at the 62-acre Towne Centre. The sales area of the new store will be 60,000 square feet, compared to 35,000 square feet in Palm Springs.Alternate Link via ProQuest.
- "Bullock's Stores to Rise in La Mesa and Palm Desert". Los Angeles Times. April 25, 1982. p. I2.
Bullock's department stores are being planned for the Grossmont Shopping Center in La Mesa and the Palm Desert Town Center Mall in Palm Desert. The 150,000-square-foot La Mesa Bullock's will be designed around an interior atrium lighted from above by sloping translucent roof panels, Ground breaking is scheduled for June and the store opening for September, 1983. The 115,000-square-foot Palm Desert Bullock's will feature clerestory windows and vaulted ceilings to admit sunlight. Ground breaking is scheduled for October and the store opening for November, 1983.Alternate Link via ProQuest.
- Ginsberg, Steve (November 2, 1983). "Bullock's Palm Desert store to open". WWD. 146 (87). p. 22.
Bullock's will open its 22nd store in the new Palm Desert Town Center Thursday. The two level, 115,000-square-foot store is planned to do $15 million its first full year. The $90 million center will open on Saturday. In addition to Bullock's, the anchor stores include May Co. California, which opened a year ago, J.C. Penney, which opened three weeks ago, and Bonwit Teller, which opened about a month ago. The mall includes 130 specialty shops and an ice-skating rink. The 775,000-square-foot center was developed by the Ernest Hahn family. Palm Desert is Bullock's third store opened in 1983. The two others are at Grossmont in San Diego and Thousand Oaks. Future Bullock's sites include downtown Los Angeles (1986) and possibly Santa Barbara.Link via ProQuest.
- "Bonwit Teller sold its last California store". Los Angeles Times (Home ed.). December 11, 1986. p. 2.
The specialty apparel chain, a unit of Allied Stores, will be leaving the California market after the sale of its Palm Desert store to Bullocks Wilshire, effective Jan. 10. Last month, Bonwit announced that it will close its money-losing Beverly Hills location on Jan. 3.Alternate Link via ProQuest.
- "Bullocks Wilshire opens 7th store in former Bonwit's site". WWD. 153 (26). February 9, 1987. p. 3.
Saturday, a 57,000-square-foot unit in the former Bonwit Teller branch in the Palm Desert Town Center. The parent Federated Department Stores took possession of the lease Jan. 19, and the store was remodeled for the opening. Palm Desert will be the first shopping center in Southern California to have both a Bullock's and a Bullocks Wilshire. Jerome Nemiro, Bullocks Wilshire president, said, "This should have a positive effect on both stores and will bring the center a certain customer that was missing before. It will cement the opportunity to capture the upscale consumer."Link via ProQuest.
- "Robinson's store to be on south side of Palm Desert Town Center". Los Angeles Times. November 23, 1985. p. t1.
Ground was broken this month for the new Robinson's store for Palm Desert, located on the south side of Palm Desert Town Center. Retail sales areas will be provided on lower levels, the upper two aligning with those of the present Town Center. The third level will be one flight down, providing a total of 133,500 square feet of building area.Alternate Link via ProQuest.
- Ginsberg, Steve (March 18, 1987). "Robinson's opens at Palm Desert". WWD. 153 (52). p. 10.
J.W. Robinson will open its Palm Desert Town Center branch today. The 133,500-square-foot store is the largest of the five anchors in the center, which is about 12 miles outside Palm Springs. The other anchors here include Bullock's, Bullocks Wilshire and J.C. Penney, as well as May Co. Robinson's has been in Palm Springs since the Fifties and should be able to maximize its reputation here with a contemporary store, which features an octagonal rotunda rising through all three floors.Link via ProQuest.
- Kopytek, Bruce Allen (May 2010). "The Department Store Museum: The J.W. Robinson Co., Los Angeles". The Department Store Museum (blog).
- "Hahn, JMB Realty purchase Palm Desert Town Center". Los Angeles Times. February 4, 1989. p. 333.
A limited partnership consisting of The Hahn Co. and affiliates of Chicago-based JMB Realty Corp. has acquired Palm Desert Town Center from Palm Desert Town Center Associates. The center was developed under contract by Hahn and opened in November, 1983. Hahn will now manage and lease the center. The Hahn Co. is one of the country's largest shopping center developers, owning and/or managing 53 regional centers comprising more than 38 million square feet throughout 18 states, including California, Nevada, Oregon and Washington. The 824,000-square-foot complex is anchored by May Co., JC Penney, Bullock's, Bullocks Wilshire and Robinson's department stores, with 145 specialty shops and restaurants. The multi-use center also features an international food court, an Ice Capades Chalet, a seven-screen Cinema 10 movie theater, a children's day care center and a community services booth. Designed by Millard Archuleta/Robert H. Riciardi & Associates, the mall reflects the combined Indian and Spanish influences of the region.Alternate Link via ProQuest.
- "Westfield America, Inc. (NYSE: WEA) Acquires Palm Desert Town Center" (Press release). Westfield America, Inc. PR Newswire. 18 August 1999.
- "Westfield America Buys Palm Desert Mall". Los Angeles Times. August 20, 1999.
- Albright, Mark (June 1, 2005). "Business: If you didn't call them 'shoppingtowns,' don't". Tampa Bay Times.
- Neil, Denise Ortuno (June 4, 2014). "Palm Desert Mall Then and Now: A Retrospective". Coachella Valley Weekly.
- "Barnes & Noble to Open New Store at 72-840 State Highway 111 Palm Desert, California; New Bookstore Debuts on June 25". Business Wire (Press release). June 11, 2003.
- "City Profiles - Palm Desert". Palm Springs Life. September 2013.
- "Nordstrom Opening New Store In Palm Desert". The Imaginary Landscape (blog). February 22, 2006.
- "Plans To Build Nordstrom In Palm Desert Scrapped". KESQ-TV. June 26, 2009.
- "Centres - Westfield Corp". Westfield Corp.
- 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.