Moving away from politics for a moment, lets have a moment of silence for some once great malls in the valley:
- Woodland Hills Promenade. The Daily News is reporting that the Woodland Hills Promenade may be moving into the dying mall category. Specifically, Westfield appears to have plans to wall off the interior of the mall, leaving only the exterior facing restaurants and theatres. What they plan to do with the interior is unknown, but there are rumors of turning it into housing. This was once the high-end mall; how the mighty have fallen.
- Laurel Plaza. Also being reported by the Daily News is the closure of the Macys at Laurel Plaza, once the per-eminent mall in North Hollywood. Most of the mall was demolished after 1994 earthquake. It was there in 1955, at the height of the San Fernando Valley postwar building boom, that the May Co. opened its regional headquarters surrounded by an ice skating rink and other stores. Four years earlier, Valley Plaza opened around the corner as the largest shopping mall in the West. Now, both are just fading and dying.
- Panorama Mall. I highlighted this in an earlier post, but it fits the theme. There are plans afoot to revitalize the area around the Panorama Mall, again, once a major shopping center that has seen a significant decline in its anchors. : The long-empty office tower — vacant since the 1994 Northridge Earthquate red-tagged it — is going to be revitialized. Developer Izek Shomof bought the Panorama Towers building last year for $12.5 million and plans a seismic retrofitting to make 192 live-work units and retail space on the ground floor. It’s the centerpiece of several major changes coming to the area. Another developer has purchased the struggling Panorama City mall and plans improvements. An old Montgomery Ward department store is being transformed into a mixed-used living and retail complex that will include a grocery store, movie theater or big-box retailers. No word on what is happening to the former Ohrbachs, which last I recall was an indoor swap meet.