The Promenade (shopping mall)
|Location||Woodland Hills, Los Angeles, California, U.S.|
|Opening date||March 1973|
|No. of stores and services||Less than 10 (July 2016)|
|No. of anchor tenants||0 (3 at peak)|
|Total retail floor area||615,400 sq ft (57,170 m2)|
|No. of floors||2 (1 in former Barnes & Noble and 3 in former Macy's)|
The Promenade (formerly known as Westfield Promenade) is a dead shopping mall in the Woodland Hills neighborhood of Los Angeles, California; it is currently owned by Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield. Since its renaming in 2015, it is one of few Westfield-owned properties without the Westfield name; the company has announced long-term plans to demolish and replace the mall with a $1.5 billion residential development named Promenade 2035. Currently, the mall is anchored by a 16-screen AMC Theatre.
Opened in 1973 as the Woodland Hills Promenade, the shopping mall was originally a high-fashion center anchored by J. W. Robinson's, Bullocks Wilshire and Saks Fifth Avenue. The Bullocks Wilshire store was renamed I. Magnin in 1990 and in 1995 became a Bullock's Men's store, being renamed Macy's in 1996. The Robinson's store was closed in 1993 and sold to Bullock's, becoming Macy's in 1996 as well. Following the 1994 Northridge earthquake, Saks Fifth Avenue used the opportunity to close their underperforming store and it was demolished in 1994 for the addition of the AMC Theatre, which opened in 1996.
The 34-acre retail development was originally conceived and developed by Kaiser Aetna as part of their master commercial-retail-residential development plan for their section of the massive former Warner Ranch now known as the Warner Center. Coldwell Banker was the property manager and Ernest W. Hahn, Inc., was the general contractor. A few months before the first store opened, Kaiser Aetna sold their interest in the mall to Continental Illinois Properties for an estimated $15 million. In March 1973, Robinson's was the first anchor store to open. Both Saks and Bullock's Wilshire followed by opening five months later.
The center was briefly acquired by Simon Property Group in 1997, before being sold in 1998 to Westfield America, Inc., a precursor to The Westfield Group. At that time it was renamed "Westfield Shoppingtown Promenade". The unwieldy "Shoppingtown" name was dropped in June 2005.
Westfield Promenade was plagued for years by tenant problems and slow business, although the addition of the movie theatre during renovations after the 1994 Northridge earthquake, more recent renovations in 2001 and the addition of several new retailers and restaurants briefly reignited interest in the center. However, a redevelopment of the Westfield Topanga (which is also owned by Westfield) in the mid-2000s overshadowed the Promenade, leaving the interior mall languishing and causing several tenants such as Barnes & Noble Booksellers to leave. In 2015, Macy's shuttered their two Promenade stores.
By September 2015, Westfield had purchased the properties that it did not own within the mall area, usually owned by anchors, to enable the company to resell the property as an entire package for other uses. The company also had removed information about the mall from the Westfield website and had stripped the Westfield name from all of the signs at the mall. As of 2017, links to the mall's former website was redirect to the Westfield Topanga website. Although Westfield still owned the property as of January 2016, the property is essentially a dead mall. Current tenants have filed a lawsuit against Westfield for allowing the property to deteriorate. According to a July 2016 Los Angeles Daily News article, Westfield told their tenants that they plan to close the interior of the mall "soon". Vacancy rates were estimated to be over 80%. It was also reported that Westfield officials told a Woodland Hills neighborhood council that Westfield was considering replacing the mall with upscale apartments. The Los Angeles Times called the decaying retail property "a drag on the neighborhood" while a Los Angeles City Councilman called it a "blighted site". In March 2016, a video was posted on YouTube which showed the state of the interior of the mall during the daytime with the mostly vacant interior shops, the lack of people within the sunny interior corridors, and a few customers within the restaurants located on the mall exteriors.
In October 2016, Westfield officially announced that they will replace the mall with a mixed-use residential and retail development that includes 1,400 upscale housing units, a grocery/pharmacy, a hotel, an office complex, plus an entertainment and sports center. The housing units would range from studio units to luxury villas. The name of the new development will be Promenade 2035. Current plans is to have new development open in stages, starting in 2020 and continuing on until 2035. Exterior tenants, such as the AMC Promenade 16, are going to be gradually moved over to Westfield Topanga's large expansion, The Village at Westfield Topanga, while the interior of the mall is being demolished.
In June 2017, the United States Postal Service moved their Woodland Hills Post Office into the vacant Macy's Men's and Furnishings departments after signing a short term 18 months lease. In August 2020, the post office relocated once again, this time to 21200 Oxnard Street.
Many residents of the surrounding area voice their concerns that Westfield's plan to replace the existing dead mall with a new development that includes a major sports and entertainment venue without helping to improve the inadequate existing roads and transportation systems in the surrounding area would be detrimental to the local community, which will cause delays.
In February 2020, a few weeks prior to the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak, AMC announced its plans to move a few blocks to the nearby Westfield Topanga at the location where Sears once stood. It is not clear if AMC would reopen the theater after the pandemic and for how long. In June 2020, AMC expressed "substantial doubt" it can remain in business after closing most of its locations across the globe during the coronavirus pandemic. After the pandemic severity decreased, AMC reopened nearly all of its shuttered theaters in March 2021. There is no word about the fate of the rest of the mall in preparation for the construction of the Promenade 2035 project.
In December 2020, the Los Angeles City Council officially approved Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield's plan to replace the dead mall with a new development that includes a sports arena, two hotels, a 28-story office tower and more than 1,400 new apartments calling it a "mini-city ... within this larger city".
- AMC Theatres (120,000 sq ft.)
The Promenade currently features the following businesses, amongst others:
- "Woodland Hills Promenade set for grand opening ceremonies". The Van Nuys News. September 30, 1973. pp. 14C. Retrieved December 31, 2020.
- Bartholomew, Dana (July 31, 2016). "The Promenade faces bleak future as more tenants abandon struggling mall". Los Angeles Daily News.
- Woodyard, Chris (October 17, 1992). "Robinson's & May Co. Combine : 12 Southland Store Closures Cast Pall Over Area's Malls : Retailing: Operators have seen their revenues slump as they struggle with recession". Los Angeles Times.
- Reza, H.G. (January 11, 1994). "Promenade Hoping for Turn Around in '94 : Woodland Hills: The mall's focus is on specialty stores that cater to high-end shoppers. Three restaurants are planned". Los Angeles Times.
- Apodaca, Patrice (January 27, 1994). "Earthquake / The Long Road Back : Slow Days for Mauled Mall : Northridge Center, Badly Damaged in Quake, to Partly Reopen in 6 Months". Los Angeles Times.
- Manning, Frank (March 8, 1996). "Woodland Hills : 16-Screen Theater to Replace Saks Store". Los Angeles Times.
- Fowler, James E. (March 29, 1996). "It's Show Time : Complex Opening Today Brings Art Films, High-Tech Venue to Valley Moviegoers". Los Angeles Times.
- Turpin, Dick (June 18, 1972). "Valley Shopping Complex Rising: Three Major High Fashion Stores Slated". Los Angeles Times. p. l1. ProQuest 156958892.
- "Trust Acquires Promenade Shopping Mall". Los Angeles Times. October 22, 1972. p. d22. ProQuest 157038717.
- "Robinson's to Open Woodland Hills Store". Los Angeles Times. March 11, 1973. p. l10. ProQuest 157243328.
- "Saks Opens $2.5 Million Valley Store". Los Angeles Times. August 5, 1973. p. e18. ProQuest 157374112.
- "San Fernando Valley Center in Operation". Los Angeles Times. August 26, 1973. p. e17. ProQuest 157311802.
- "Promenade Mall in Woodland Hills Sold". Los Angeles Times. December 13, 1989.
- Apodaca, Patrice (October 22, 1991). "Mall Raises the Roof : Retailing: The new owners of the Promenade in Warner Center pin their hopes on a renovation to woo back shoppers. Some observers see risks". Los Angeles Times.
- Pendleton, Jennifer (March 9, 1999). "Owners Shopping for Ways to Revive Mall: Retail: Promenade in Woodland Hills is target of make-over by Westfield America, which wants to link it more closely with Topanga Plaza". Los Angeles Times.
- 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.
- Sieroty, Chris (May 13, 2000). "Owner to refit Promenade". Daily News of Los Angeles – via NewsBank.
The remodeled mall will feature the AMC 16 theaters along with such lifestyle stores as Restoration Hardware and Z Gallerie.
- Wilcox, Gregory J. (December 31, 2012). "Barnes & Noble at Westfield Promenade in Warner Center closes". Los Angeles Daily News.
- Wilcox, Gregory J. (January 8, 2015). "Macy's closing two Woodland Hills stores". Los Angeles Daily News.
- Bartholomew, Dana (September 13, 2015). "Lawsuit: Promenade mall a blighted 'ghost town' as Village at Westfield Topanga opens next door". Los Angeles Daily News.
- Khouri, Andrew (October 17, 2016). "Westfield proposes $1.5-billion mixed-used complex at site of aging Warner Center mall". Los Angeles Times.
- Dead Mall: Westfield Promenade. YouTube. March 4, 2016.
- Tinoco, Matt (October 15, 2016). "Woodland Hills' Deteriorating Promenade Mall To Transform Into New Housing And Retail". LAist.
- Chiland, Elijah (October 13, 2016). "Massive development planned for Warner Center's Promenade mall: More than 1,400 residential units and two hotels". Curbed LA.
- Bartholomew, Dana (October 15, 2016). "Westfield unveils plan to turn The Promenade into $1.5B 'live, work and play' complex". Los Angeles Daily News.
- Bartholomew, Dana (June 1, 2017). "Woodland Hills Post Office up and running at Promenade mall's defunct Macy's". Los Angeles Daily News.
- Stulick, Amy (August 10, 2020). "Woodland Hills Post Office Moving Again". San Fernando Valley Business Journal.
- Grigoryants, Olga (May 2, 2018). "Promenade 2035 Project review finds 'significant' impacts on Warner Center". Los Angeles Daily News.
- Shelley, Susan (July 17, 2018). "Promenade 2035 could gridlock every West Valley street". Los Angeles Daily News.
- Grigoryants, Olga (July 5, 2018). "Westfield's Promenade 2035 project sparks concerns at Warner Center neighborhood council meeting". Los Angeles Daily News.
- Shaikin, Bill (May 17, 2019). "Dodgers in the Valley? Ballpark might have replaced mall — had the Angels not squashed the idea". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2019-05-17.
- Stulick, Amy (February 12, 2020). "AMC at Promenade Moving". San Fernando Valley Business Journal.
- Pallotta, Frank (June 3, 2020). "AMC Theatres has 'substantial doubt' it can remain in business". CNN.
- "AMC Theatres to Have 98% of Its U.S. Locations Open Beginning Friday, March 19". AMC Theatres (Press release). March 17, 2021.
- Zahniser, David (December 2, 2020). "L.A. signs off on $1-billion 'mini-city' in the west San Fernando Valley". Los Angeles Times.
- Last archive of the official Westfield Promenade website at the Wayback Machine (archived October 17, 2012)
- Promenade2035 website — proposed multi-use development project to replace Westfield Promenade.