Australian shopping mall titan Westfield Corp. announced Friday it will spend $800 million upgrading and enlarging its luxury Century City mall in Los Angeles, CA.
When construction is completed in 2017, the firm will have spent about $1 billion on improvements on the property since it bought it in 2002, according to the Los Angeles Times.
The renovation will focus on restaurants with outdoor seating, and will add space for a Nordstrom department store and California’s first Eataly, a popular gourmet Italian food emporium.
Like shopping centers worldwide, the Century City mall faces tough competition from online retailers like Amazon. Plus, two upscale, open-air shopping areas — the Grove and Santa Monica Place — have become increasingly popular, Westfield co-CEO Peter Lowy told the Times.
To compete, Westfield is re-creating the mall as a “lifestyle center” — a destination for more than just shopping, the Times reported.
Its shops and eateries will be located amid eight acres of tree-laden open space and pathways. The open-air concept has been popular since the Grove opened in 2002 and, in fact, has taken off around the country in the form of town center-style shopping communities surrounded by or mixed in with condos, apartments and offices.
The mall will remain open during construction, although 30 shops have closed already as renovations get underway. During the unveiling of the planned renovations, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti touted the benefits of the massive project, including the creation of about 10,000 new construction and retail jobs.