The Westfield Corp. Unveils $1.5 Billion Proposal for Stunning Promenade Complex
Close your eyes and imagine, if you will, families spread out and sitting on plush blankets in a beautiful, sprawling tree-lined park, enjoying a summer picnic…or professional types gathered outside raised garden studio facilities…or residents rushing to nearby offices from luxurious apartments capped with rooftop swimming pools…while in the midst of this, hotel guests gaze down upon flora-lined boulevards packed with midday shoppers. Sound like typical loft living in Los Angeles?
The Westfield Corp. is vividly envisioning a concept that will transcend this experience through an eye-watering $1.5 billion proposal, the goal of which is to transform its aging Promenade Mall into an urban landscape that’s transit-friendly and where residents will be invited to “live, work and play” in Warner Center in Woodland Hills. Being dubbed the Westfield Promenade 2035, permit applications have been filed to get the project rolling, with a website – located at Promenade2035.com – already launched to outline details of the proposal.
“This is one of the most exciting ventures that Westfield is engaged in around the globe,” Larry Green, senior vice president for Westfield – which owns 35 shopping centers in the U.S. and the United Kingdom with 6,500 total stores – was quoted as saying about the endeavor. “The project has taken shape after decades of being in this community, and, most prominently, listening to what people saythey’d like to see here.”
The latter part of Green’s statement refers to the Warner Center 2035 Plan, which was created by neighbors, community leaders, local businesses and stakeholders as a long-term blueprint for the future that envisions “a new downtown” for the Valley. Approved by the L.A. City Council in 2013, the text embedded within the Plan aspires to make Warner Center a mixed-use, transit-oriented, lively downtown district where sparkling new neighborhoods of tree-lined streets meander into vibrant avenues and large blocks that are broken up to become “intimate and accessible.” In this “Valley of the near future,” pedestrian pathways enable walkable communities where low- and no-emission vehicles are encouraged to be driven and homes and workplaces are brought closer together, creating a more sustainable future for everyone. Defined by the aspirations of the Warner Center 2035 Plan, Promenade 2035 is gearing up to be a lifestyle community to encompass entertainment, office, housing, dining and shopping elements built in phases over time.Further, the Westfield Promenade 2035, if approved by the city, would not only replace the nearly empty Promenade Mall – now taking up 34 acres on a large block at Oxnard Street and Topanga Canyon Boulevard in the shadow of Warner Centeroffice towers – but would conform to an urban blueprint calling for a highly-dense working, shopping and living district adjacent to the Metro Orange Line busway. For the section of the Warner Center currently bounded by Erwin Street and Owensmouth Avenue, this could mean a traditional office tower, creative office studios, upscale apartments and two hotels interwoven by foliage-encrusted boulevards and alleys peppered with shops, restaurants and art galleries.
In the area of the arts, the west San Fernando Valley has the opportunity to gain something it hasn’t had in years – a sprawling indoor performing arts complex. The proposed Promenade 2035 Entertainment and Sports Center is poised to seat 15,000 fans for live music, theater, sports, craft fairs and more. Additionally, new streets and alleys would all lead to a centrally-located park populated with as many as 500 native trees, the development itself encompassing five acres of rooftop gardens, seven acres of open space, pools and elevated courtyards.
Said Green of these envisioned elements, “All of these streets would lead to an incredible Promenade Square, well over one acre in dimension; indeed, one of the inspirations we drew from was New York’s Bryant Park, a beautiful space for everything from farmers markets to open-air events…a place where mothers, fathers and kids can kick around a soccer ball for hours on end and simply revel in the peaceful tranquility.”
According to Green, the mixed-use Promenade 2035, built to LEED silver sustainability standards, should be completed in the aforementioned four phases from 2021 to 2033, as the 43 year-old Promenade for which it’s named is torn down. What’s more, said Green, some exterior-facing businesses such as Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse and Corner Bakery Café could be gradually incorporated into Westfield’s adjacent Village at Westfield Topanga shopping center, or its Topanga Mall.
Details outlining the Westfield Promenade 2035, ultimately structured around a new Promenade Boulevard and Warner Drive, intersecting through the old Mall property, include approximately 150,000 square-feet of creative indoor/outdoor office space for professionals; approximately 1,400 apartments from studios to luxury penthouses, in addition to a 24-story office tower of 470,000 square-feet, two hotels boasting 272 rooms and 300 rooms respectively and 244,00 square-feet of ground-level shops, galleries and restaurants plus the 15,000-seat Entertainment and Sports Center – the largest ever to call the San Fernando Valley home.
Backers of the proposed project believe Promenade 2035 construction would generate 12,500 jobs and inject some $2 billion into the economy, and when built would employ nearly 8,000 workers and generate $1.6 billion a year – with $12 million in taxes for Los Angeles.
“This project can be an exciting prospect for the West Valley,” said Councilman Bob Blumenfield, who represents the area, in a statement. “It has the potential to create jobs and bring the housing that is desperately needed, while ensuring mass transit access in the most dense of sectors. With proper community input, this multi-use endeavor can further enhance the West Valley as a destination the whole city will want to emulate.”
For more information about the Westfield Promenade 2035 proposal, visit www.Promenade2035.com and continue checking in with Woodland Hills Magazine.