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valley forum/dy/mike1st/mark2nd California State University, Northridge is planning to develop a 20-acre, 20,000-square-foot shopping mall on a vacant piece of north campus land at Devonshire Downs. Under current plans, the mall would be built and run by a private developer, with some revenues going to CSUN. The university claims the mall will provide it with much-needed funds during a time when money from state sources has been dwindling. The Business Journal asks: Should Cal State Northridge be allowed to develop a retail mall on campus property? Annette Bethers Marketing Director Northridge Fashion Center We really haven’t formed an opinion on the issue. It is a potential competitive situation for us, but is it necessarily going to draw away from the Fashion Center? Maybe not. I think the two retail entities can survive in this market, and it doesn’t concern us from that standpoint. We also don’t feel too concerned because it seems to be a very small-scale development they’re talking about. Julie Gertler Co-chair, Land Use Committee Valley Industry and Commerce Association I think that the university doing something creative to add to their financial base is a good decision, but whatever retail they have should have synergy with the university and be related to the university. It shouldn’t be like every other mall in the Valley. I’d like to see the kinds of retail places that students and faculty members would like to frequent while on campus, such as coffee houses and restaurants for faculty, staff and students. CSUN has always been a commuter campus, and this could provide opportunities for all the people in the school to stay in the area. Andy Fishburn Director of Leasing Warner Center Properties, Woodland Hills We’re very much in support of creating quality retail in the general Woodland Hills area. To the extent the proposed development supports quality growth in this area, we’re avid supporters. I’d like to see it a relatively upscale development. Tony Lucente President Studio City Residents Association I’m not sure that educational campuses are the right place for this particular type of retail development. Perhaps they could make some modifications to make it more compatible with community lifestyle, for example, by supplying employment opportunities for students and opportunities for working together with the business school. In that respect, there may be opportunities to tie it in with campus life. That’s what I would like to see. Joann Roth Someone’s in the Kitchen, Tarzana I would say I’d not be in favor of this. Typically when the city or state leases out land or does something with developers, it’s the developers who benefit, and we don’t realize it didn’t work for 10 years. Also, as a community business member in the San Fernando Valley, we’re finally seeing some recovery in the area. I think the Northridge Fashion Center can use the business and doesn’t need another mall to compete with it. Also, we don’t need to invite people onto a campus who are not students.

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