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Wednesday, Jun 7, 2023

Valley Construction: On The Boards

There are plenty of big, big projects being planned for the region, although start dates for many are very tentative as you might imagine. Mixed-use, or lifestyle center, are the buzzwords for most. Here, then, are some of the larger, and in some cases, more controversial, efforts that should be moving forward over the next couple of years. Valley Plaza Shopping Center The Community Redevelopment Agency of the City of Los Angeles executed a third extension to its exclusive right to negotiate agreement with J.H. Snyder for this 22-acre site. Proposed are a 664,000-square-foot retail and entertainment center with department stores, restaurants, a multi-plex theater and lots and lots of parking spaces. The agreement was originally approved in April 2007, and qualifies as an Earthquake Disaster Assistance Project, meaning it may be eligible for public funding of some sort. NBC West Coast Headquarters Intense marketing is underway to win the hearts and minds of residents in Toluca Lake and North Hollywood, many of whom are leery of Thomas Properties’ proposed $800 million studio and office project. Two phases are planned. The first would have a 24-story office building, a five-story media production facility and 25,000 square feet of retail. A seven-story parking structure would also be built. Phase two is less defined, with plans for either a high-rise office building or a hotel/residential complex. Universal City Vision Plan In addition to the new headquarters complex, NBC/Universal is also gathering support for a $3 billion redevelopment proposal that would include rebuilding the Universal backlot. Approximately 390,000 new square feet of production facilities would be built plus another 335,000 square feet of offices. They’d also like to turn about 124 acres of the existing property into “Universal Village,” with as much as 100,000 square feet of retail, two- to six-story townhomes and eight- to 12-story residential buildings; a total of nearly 3,000 residential units. A recent mailer included a card for interested parties to indicate their level of support for the project. Interestingly, there was no check-box option for those not in favor. Fashion Square Expansion The environmental impact report for Westfield’s proposed expansion of the Fashion Square mall in Sherman Oaks was released in September. The largest retail owner in the region is proposing to add 280,000 square feet to the existing mall by converting the parking structure on Hazeltine to retail space; expanding the existing parking structure next to Macy’s on the west end; and adding another parking structure where the surface parking is behind the center. Sportsman’s Lodge Revival Weintraub Financial Services has plans to renovate the venerable Sportsman’s Lodge Hotel and utilize the rest of the site almost 10-acre site as an “exclusive shopping and destination experience,” according to CEO Richard Weintraub. An update of the hotel’s pool area is already underway while the retail component is still in the planning stages. The Village at Westfield Topanga At the other end of the Valley from Fashion Square, Westfield has ambitious plans for a $700 million mixed-use “lifestyle center.” It would be built on the 31 acres between the company’s Topanga and Promenade malls. The proposed project would have 438,500 square feet of retail space and 75,000 square feet of restaurant space plus a hotel and office buildings to boot. Valley Glen Dasher/Lawless has big plans for a two-phase project in Valley Glen. The first, The Glen at Valley Glen, would replace the blighted apartment complex on Victory Boulevard between Fulton and Coldwater avenues. The design calls for 100 condos on top of two levels of retail for a total of 113,000 square feet. Building permits are in process; construction is expected to begin “sometime in 2009,” according to project manager Gilbert Salazar. The Plaza at Valley Glen would be located across the wash on 12 acres of land. The mixed-use project is being designed by “the same designer as Caruso,” Salazar said, referring to Caruso Affiliated, developers of the recently completed Americana at Brand. Plans are for about 1.3 million square feet of retail, office, and residential spaces.

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