The Village at Westfield Topanga

Back in 2007, Westfield proposed developing the space between their Westfield Topanga and Westfield Promenade properties into a mixed use development that would rival Century City. Fast forward to 2010, and their revised plan axes the entire residential component, trims office and restaurant space, hotel room inventory, and adds a big box retailer to the mix.

The proposed retail anchor (146,640 sq ft) is to be a Costco with a gas station and tire center. Retail was trimmed from 426,665 sq ft to 270,440 sq ft (roughly 63% of the original plan).

Costco would go in at the corner of Victory and Owensmouth.

Critiques: From the site plan, I do not see any transit oriented infrastructure, which is odd considering Westfield Promenade is Warner Center’s major bus terminal. The Orange Line BRT could stand to benefit from a direct and prioritized connection to the Village, which may make it a better option for getting to the development than by car.

Orange Line BRT

Also, I do not see any synergy between Westfield Topanga and this proposed Village at Westfield Topanga. The original plan proposed a people mover that would shuttle people between the 3 Westfield properties but I do not see any hint of that in the site plan. Westfield would benefit more if they could somehow tie all 3 of their properties together, rather than creating what appears to be an outdoor mall wedged between their 2 traditional indoor malls.

I hope that this project does not create another wanna be “Main Street U.S.A” on prime real estate in Woodland Hills that would be better served creating a more walkable, commercial district that the entire region could stand to benefit from.

Make sure your voice is heard and attend the community meeting at Westfield Topanga on July 28, 2010 at the former Ruehl store from 5 – 8 pm.

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