Since the closing of Toys “R” Us at 6245 Topanga Canyon Blvd. in Warner Center, rumors have circulated that the property would become a grocery store.
According to the Los Angeles City Planning website, a year after the toy store closing, property owner Erwin Bucy, PCG Woodland Hills LLC, proposed “tenant improvements” for the property along with a change of use from retail to supermarket. City planning approval was received for a “generic market.”
Construction has been moving ahead on the 33,574 square-foot building for months.
Amazon marketing executives were unable to be reached for comment, but other tenants in the center said that they have been told that the store will be a new concept Amazon grocery store, opening in November.
Amazon had previously announced that they planned on opening dozens of grocery stores in various U.S. cities.
The Wall Street Journal reported that Amazon would open its first outlet in Los Angeles by the end of this year.
Amazon, based in Seattle, has been delivering groceries online for over 10 years.
They also opened Amazon Go in 2016, a cashierless convenience store offering prepared food, limited groceries and liquor. Currently they have 17 Amazon Go stores that are partly automated with customers able to check out without a cashier, using a self-checkout station.
They then bought the brick-and-mortar grocery chain Whole Foods in 2017. The $13.7 billion purchase signaled Amazon’s effort to break into the $840 billion grocery market. However, Whole Foods stocks a select group of items free from hydrogenated fats and artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives. Amazon in general stocks and sells a wider range of items.
This is not the first time Amazon was rumored to be looking at the valley. A year ago when they began their search for a new corporate headquarters, Los Angeles and even Warner Center were advanced as possible locations.
The shopping center at Topanga Canyon and Erwin Street is home to Office Depot, Citibank, Hook Burger, a hair salon, Poke bar and ATT. Old New York Style Deli is planning an opening in the old Pizza Cookery spot by year end. More than 20 years ago Bristol Farms had a market in the center.
Toys “R” Us closed its doors in Woodland Hills at the beginning of last year as the chain emerged from bankruptcy attempting to better compete with lower-priced retailers.