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City Approves Westfield’s “Mini City”

The Los Angeles City Council last week unanimously approved Westfield’s Promenade 2035 Plan.

The “mini city” will include a sports arena, two hotels, over 1,400 apartments and a 28-story office building, along with a grocery store and over 10 acres of green space.

The project will be built on the site of the old Promenade Mall, now shuttered except for four  restaurants (P.F. Chang’s, Maggianos, Corner Bakery and Ruth’s Chris) and the  closed-by-COVID AMC Theatre.

The development will cost more than $1 billion and create over 19,000 jobs to build the mixed-use, transit oriented project.

Councilman Bob Blunenfield told the L.A. Times that the project’s combination of restaurants, stores, homes and workspaces makes it “the future of green planning. Promenade 2035 will offer a mini city…within this larger city,” he told the paper. “Where you can get your culture and entertainment and jobs and work – all in a small area for less of a carbon footprint.”

Westfield has also committed to a percentage of rent-restricted housing, with 15% of the project’s apartments targeting affordable, workforce and stakeholder housing. A percentage will be allocated for low-income families that earn less than 50% of the area median income, which is currently $77,300. Another portion would be set aside for workforce housing for those that earn 120 to 150% of the median income.

A controversial part of the plan was the sports arena. Neighborhood groups and residents initially objected to the size and seating of the stadium. In the final version, the entertainment and sports venue will offer 10,000 seats at the corner of Topanga Canyon Blvd. and Oxnard Street.

The first City Council approval of Promenade 2035 came in 2013, but was challenged by various homeowner groups and individuals over traffic, density and the proposed stadium.

The Woodland Hills Homeowners Organization was one that challenged the project  but ultimately worked out compromises with Westfield. The remaining appellant Jeff Bornstein still argues that the planning department failed to comply with state environmental law. Bornstein has a history of challenging Westfield projects and was a major opponent also of The Village.

Westfield, now given final approval by the City Council, is expected to start construction on Promenade 2035 within two years. They are currently developing the old Sears parcel at Topanga to convert it to a dining and entertainment complex.

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