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Former Sears To Become Massive $250M Food Hall, Entertainment District

A former Sears Department store that has sat dormant for the past five years in Los Angeles' San Fernando Valley region is getting a new life.

Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield officials said the company plans to transform the 160K SF vacant department store that once anchored the Westfield Topanga mall in Canoga Park into a food hall with other types of dining and entertainment experiences.

Rendering of Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield's transformation of a former Sears Dept. store in Woodland Hills
Rendering of Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield's transformation of a former Sears store in Woodland Hills.

As part of the $250M renovation, visitors will walk through a brand-new triple height entryway with floating panes of glass and transparent lattices alongside the outdoor space, the company said.

A new pedestrian access point by foot and trolley will also be created to connect Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield's nearby retail center to the new entertainment district at the mall.

The company said the new food hall and entertainment district will open sometime in 2021.

“We could not be more excited to finally unlock the full potential of this space and refashion it into something completely fresh and far more relevant and engaging for the community and our customers,” Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield Executive Vice President Development Larry Green said in a statement.

The company did not respond to a request for comment.

Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield's announcement comes as retail developers and companies continue to grapple with a changing retail landscape. With more shoppers preferring to shop online, mall owners and developers are changing their property by adding more experiential retail, entertainment and dining options.

Closed in 2015, the Sears department store in Topanga Canyon was one of several large Sears nationwide that got the ax when Sears Holdings began disposing of many of its assets

Green said the transformation of the Sears, alongside The Village and another Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield project across the street called Promenade 2035, will reshape the San Fernando Valley area of Los Angeles.

The Los Angeles Planning Department approved the $1.5B Promenade 2035 earlier this year. The mixed-use megadevelopment will feature 1,400 residential units, 630K SF of office space, two hotels, and an entertainment and sports arena.

Once the Village retail center, the Topanga Canyon mall and Promenade 2035 are fully built out, San Fernando Valley residents will no longer need to drive to downtown Los Angeles to get their entertainment or dining fix.

“For residents across the San Fernando Valley and wider LA region, the chance to enjoy world-class dining and social entertainment experiences without having to travel far from home will be a game-changer,” Green said.