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Los Angeles' San Fernando Valley May Get Its First Events Project of Its Kind

Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield's Promenade 2035 project. Photo: Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield.

Los Angeles' San Fernando Valley May Get Its First Events Project of Its Kind

Local officials are seeking input about a proposed sports and entertainment center that would be built in Los Angeles' Warner Center neighborhood as part of a redevelopment at a shopping mall, a project that could be the first of its kind in the San Fernando Valley.

French commercial real estate conglomerate Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield, parent company of mall operator Westfield, wants to build a 15,000-seat entertainment and sports center to replace the Westfield Promenade Shopping Center at 6100 N. Topanga Canyon Blvd. , in a larger $1.5 billion mixed-use urban village development known as Westfield Promenade 2035.

The first official public hearing on the 320,000 square-foot center, which would host concerts and events as well as sports, was held this week to allow members from the community to weigh in on the project, the City of Los Angeles Department of City Planning said it will receive public comments about the project until May 14.

“Many of the folks who spoke shared the same concerns as my boss, including the need for ample parking to ensure that nearby homes, parks and businesses aren’t negatively impacted, the lack of affordable housing and the community impacts of a stadium,” Jake Flynn, spokesman for Los Angeles City Councilman Bob Blumenfield, said in an email.

An environmental impact report from the city states seating alternatives of 7,500 or 10,000 seats for the sports venue would have less of an impact on greenhouse gas emissions and off-site noise.

The project is part of the larger Westfield Promenade 2035 multi-phase plan that would add "a lifestyle community" with office, entertainment, housing, shops and restaurants at the mall site. Those plans fit in with the neighborhood's goal to become a bustling city center as outlined in Warner Center 2035, a 2013 development plan that rezoned the 1,000 acres in the area for high-density building.

In addition to the sports and entertainment center, Promenade 2035 would include two hotels, up to 1,432 residential units, 244,000 square feet of retail space and 629,000 square feet of office space, according to the City of Los Angeles Department of City Planning. Several other projects are planned or underway in the area.

Jay Rubin, principal at commercial real estate services firm Lee & Associates, said the event center could be beneficial to the area, because "there is no large venue in the [San Fernando] Valley, leaving an opportunity to attract events, concerts and sporting, with that showing off all the area has to offer, bringing in additional jobs, residence and commerce."

It could help further the positive impact on commercial real estate in the area, namely on retail and restaurants, according to Reza Ghobadi, senior vice president at global commercial real estate services firm Colliers International.

“In general, it will be a great investment in San Fernando Valley as probably some team with a major national league will probably be interested,” Ghobadi, who is based in the company's Encino office, said in an email. “I believe all the developments planned in Warner Center and the immediate neighborhood will have a great positive economic impact in San Fernando Valley.”

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