Victor Gruen, the father of the shopping mall, envisioned shopping towns that would encourage the sense of community that he felt large cities were losing. He wanted them to provide a pedestrian friendly location where people could relax and socialize. Over the years, malls have moved further and further away from his vision, but the Village at Westfield Topanga will capture many elements of his original idea.
Woodland Hills’ new outdoor shopping center will feature walking and biking paths between the stores. These pathways will feature several gathering spots. Some of them will simply be seating areas adorned with statuary, water features and plants to create a pleasant environment to hang out or socialize in. Others will have play areas for children, bocce courts or other outdoor games. The outdoor elements will celebrate the San Fernando Valley’s flora and natural elements. There will be a number of cafes, restaurants and bars, the majority of which will feature outdoor seating in order to take adventure of the intended pleasant atmosphere.
The Village will connect two other shopping centers and make Woodland Hills the home of one of the largest retail areas in California. It will mainly feature trendy stores such as Varga and Jonathon Adler. There will be an REI and Costco at the Village to serve as anchor stores.
The Costco at the Village will incorporate many of the aesthetic features that have gone into the design of the center. The plans for its landscaped façade have lead to many people proclaiming that it will be the nicest looking Costco around. The members-only shopping club will have its own gas station and tire store.
Costco has been growing in popularity in recent years thanks to a lot of positive attention. It has garnered this through widespread proclamations of the bargains that can be found there. They are well known for treating their employees well and for refusing to do business with companies that PETA investigates. Whenever a Costco opens its doors, it tends to draw large crowds.
The extensive landscaping is largely due to the inclusion of the Costco at the Village. When it was first announced, many residents of Woodland Hills and other nearby neighborhoods were concerned with what this new complex would mean for traffic and other factors in their vicinity. The Village decided to plan their center as an urban oasis in the hopes that it would allay some of the concerns. While locals are still anxious about the Village, there is a great deal of positive attention around it.