Plans Call for Suburban LA Mall To Be Redeveloped As 4 Million-Square-Foot Mixed-Use Project

Plans Call for Residential, Hotel and More at Panorama Mall Site in Van Nuys

By Jack Witthaus CoStar News May 5, 2022 | 2:02 P.M. An aging San Fernando Valley mall is the target of redevelopment as similar retail properties across greater Los Angeles and the nation are converted into different uses amid a retail glut.

Primestor, a Culver City, California-based developer, is seeking approvals from the city of Los Angeles for roughly 4.5 million square feet of residential, hotel and commercial uses on the mall's site at 8401 Van Nuys Blvd., according to city records and CoStar data. The 312,000-square-foot mall was built around 1955 as part of a planned residential project catering to returning World War II veterans. Primestor acquired the mall from Santa Monica shopping center owner Macerich for $98 million in November 2015, according to a filing to the Securities and Exchange Commission. The mall's current tenants include Aldi, Aeropostale, Curacao, Walmart and more, according to its website. It's not clear how much of the mall's space is leased.

It's estimated that there may be 20% more retail space than is needed in the U.S., which has given rise to converting surplus properties into housing and other uses. Not far from the Panorama Mall, a former Montgomery Ward store at 14665 Roscoe Blvd. is expected to be redeveloped into 623 apartments as part of the Icon at Panorama City project, according to CoStar data. About 10 miles west in Woodland Hills, the 34-acre Westfield Promenade is planned to become apartments, a Los Angeles Rams practice facility and more. A 10-acre Fry's Electronics store in Burbank, east of Van Nuys, is slated to transform into 850 apartments and 150,000 square feet of office space along with restaurants and parking.

An April study found that in Los Angeles County alone there may be 2,300 underutilized commercial properties, including retail, hotel, office and more, that may support 113,000 housing units if redeveloped.

The eastern San Fernando Valley retail market features an average asking rent of $28.45 per square foot on an annual basis, lower than the greater L.A. average of $34.39 per square foot, according to CoStar data. The market's average vacancy rate is 5.1%, near the greater L.A. average of 5.2%.

A Primestor representative did not respond to a request to comment from CoStar News.

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