85.7 F
San Fernando
Thursday, Jun 1, 2023

Could Valley’s Promenade Be Home to Amazon? Dodgers Affiliate?

The Westfield Group is moving ahead with plans to remake the Westfield Promenade shopping center into a big mixed-use complex, including a sports facility that could house a minor league baseball team. But there is a small possibility that Amazon.com Inc. could choose the site as its second headquarters, seriously changing those plans. “Amazon would need every inch” of the 34-acre Promenade site, Larry Green, the senior vice president of the Westfield Group, said Thursday. He said Amazon also would need every inch of the similarly-sized old Rocketdyne site a few blocks to the north of the Promenade. Green, speaking at a board meeting of the Valley Economic Alliance at Valley Presbyterian Hospital, opined that he didn’t think it is likely that Amazon would choose the Promenade site in Woodland Hills. Although Los Angeles was named as one of the 20 places the Seattle-based ecommerce giant is considering for its second headquarters, he believes it wants to be “in a different time zone.” Nonetheless, he said it would be “a dynamite place for Amazon. Hopefully, we can stay in the hunt.” Green, who appeared at the board meeting to update business leaders on the progress of the redevelopment site, also said Westfield is talking to several sports teams about the possibility of putting a practice facility or minor league team in what is envisioned to be a 15,000-seat sports arena or stadium at Topanga Canyon Boulevard and Oxnard Street, which is the southwest corner of the Promenade property. “I think there is interest from minor league baseball teams to come and play here,” Green said after the meeting. Because a minor league team would be moving into Los Angeles, the in-market major league teams essentially have veto power. “The Angels and the Dodgers will have to approve any team that comes. The Dodgers would have to approve the Angels; the Angels would have to approve (the Dodgers). They both have to agree,” he said. “There is a trend that is happening in baseball that you are seeing the minor league teams come closer and closer to the urban areas, so I think there is a desire. But we will have to see what happens,” he said, adding that “there are a lot of minor league baseball teams in California,” so any minor league tenant could be a team other than one affiliated with the Dodgers or Angels. He said the Clippers seem uninterested in building a practice facility there. “But both the Rams and the Chargers are looking for permanent L.A. headquarters and practice facilities,” he continued. “We would love to be on their list of (sites). We will see what happens.” Green said his company put out a request for proposals several months ago for the possible sports site, and some proposals call for the site to be used for entertainment. “We are getting a lot of various interested parties. People that want to do it as pure concerts and events, people that want to do sports, people that want to do family recreational facilities. It is not for sports only. It is really a broad RFP and we are fielding all the responses for that.” He said the deadline for the RFP “is a little loose. We are probably looking to short list in the next couple of months. Then we’re going to spend three or four months working with the short list of people. The goal is to have a decision made by the end of the year.” The interior mall portion of the existing Promenade is closed. A few outward-facing restaurants remain open and an AMC movie complex continues doing good business, Green said. Westfield’s plan is to scrap the old mall and create a large mixed-use complex. It would include retail, multi-family housing, creative office space, two hotels and 5.5 acres of park-like open space, in addition to the sports or entertainment area. The project is still moving through the city’s approval process. The construction would start on the northeast corner of the property at Owensmouth Avenue and Erwin Street and progress counterclockwise around the property. The first phase would be completed in 2021. It would take an additional 14 years to finish the entire project.

Mark Madler
Mark Madler
Mark R. Madler covers aviation & aerospace, manufacturing, technology, automotive & transportation, media & entertainment and the Antelope Valley. He joined the company in February 2006. Madler previously worked as a reporter for the Burbank Leader. Before that, he was a reporter for the City News Bureau of Chicago and several daily newspapers in the suburban Chicago area. He has a bachelor’s of science degree in journalism from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.

Featured Articles

Related Articles