Del Amo Fashion Center
Sign over Carson Street
|Location||Torrance, California, United States|
|Management||Simon Property Group|
|Owner||JPMorgan Fleming Funds (25%),|
Simon Property Group (50%),
& Farallon Cap. Mgt. (25%)
|No. of stores and services||255 (as of 2020)|
|No. of anchor tenants||7 (6 open, 1 vacant)|
|Total retail floor area||2,371,068 sq ft (220,279.4 m2)|
|No. of floors||3 (1 in Burlington Coat Factory, 2 in Dick's Sporting Goods, JCPenney, and Nordstrom, and former Sears, 4 in Macy's North)|
With a gross leasable area (GLA) of 2.5 million sq ft (230,000 m2), it is the seventh largest shopping mall in the United States. The mall features a food court, several anchor stores, including two Macy's locations, Nordstrom, JCPenney, Dick's Sporting Goods, Burlington Coat Factory, Jo-Ann Fabrics, Marshalls, Dave & Buster's, Japanese supermarket Mitsuwa Marketplace, 255 retailers, multiple full-service restaurants, a fitness center, an AMC Theatres multiplex & a Sears that recently closed in September 2020.
Del Amo Fashion Center has evolved from an amalgamation of several developments on the eastern side of the intersection of Hawthorne Boulevard and Carson Street in Torrance, California by Guilford Glazer (#384 on Forbes Richest 400). From 1981 to 1992 it was the largest shopping mall in the United States, reaching 3 million ft² (280,000 m2) in size at its largest. It was eclipsed as the largest with the opening of Mall of America on August 11, 1992.
South side: Broadway/Del Amo Shopping Center
On February 16, 1959, The Broadway opened its store at Hawthorne and Sepulveda boulevards, the ninth in Greater Los Angeles, and over the next two years the open-air Del Amo Shopping Center was built adjacent to it, south of Carson Street. Silverwoods opened what was also its ninth L.A.-area store here in November 1960. Most of the rest of the center opened in stages in early 1961 with additional anchors JCPenney, Sears and Woolworth's. Other stores that opened in 1961 were Lerner's, Leed's Shoes and Ontra Cafeteria; and later C. H. Baker Shoes, Judy's Sportwear, Helen Morgan Women's Shop, The Men's Shop, Tot's Toggery and Suburban Shop, Singer Sewing Shop, Mandel's Shoes, Varon's Jewelry, and Children's Shoe Store.
North side: Bullock's/Del Amo Fashion Square
In 1966, Bullock's opened at a small open-air shopping center it had developed north of Carson Street called Bullock's Fashion Square — advertising and editorial in the first years referred to "Bullock's Fashion Square in Torrance", not Del Amo. Bullock's developed several similarly named Fashion Squares, including ones in Sherman Oaks, La Habra and Santa Ana. I. Magnin, owned by Bullock's, opened a store on March 6, 1967.
In February 1970, Federated Department Stores replaced its Bullock's Realty Corporation, which owned and managed the Fashion Squares, with an organization called Transwest Management; Transwest sold the Torrance Fashion Square in March of that year to new co-owners Great Lakes and Guilford Glazer and Associates, while selling the three other Fashion Squares to Urban Investment and Development Company (UIDC).
In 1971, the center was rebaptized Del Amo Fashion Square and added a $3.75 million, 177,000-square-foot (16,400 m2) Montgomery Ward, a 90,000-square-foot (8,400 m2) Ohrbach's and an expanded I. Magnin, as well as a United Artists fourplex theater which later received 2 additional larger auditoriums, and a Woolworth's, both of which were in the Montgomery Ward wing. Glazer acquired neighboring Del Amo Center in 1978.
"Marriage of the malls"
In November 1981, the two formerly separate centers were officially merged in the "marriage of the malls" to form the Del Amo Fashion Center, with the opening of a concourse over Carson Street that linked the Del Amo Fashion Square to a new J. W. Robinson's built at the northern end of the Del Amo Center. The existing infrastructure was also renovated at this time and included a food court (the "International Food Court") and a then-state-of-the-art computerized help system. Del Amo became the largest indoor shopping center in the world.
The center continued to evolve over the years as Ohrbach's closed in 1987 and became Swedish style furniture retailer STØR. In 1991, the United Artists theater closed when a 9-screen Mann theater opened outside of the mall on Del Amo Circle to the east of J. W. Robinson's. When STØR went out of business in the early 1990s, the property was used as a clearance center for STØR merchandise before being subdivided into Marshall's and TJ Maxx in the late 1990s. I. Magnin followed in 1989 with part of their store eventually occupied by Old Navy, while Burlington Coat Factory opened in the basement of the former Del Amo Center. J. W. Robinson's became Robinsons-May in 1993.
In 1996, following the merger of Bullocks and The Broadway into Macy's West, the former Bullock's became Macy's Apparel store, while the Macy's south store (where the Broadway resided) was closed. At first, the company attempted to sell the building to Bloomingdale's, but after three years reopened it in July 1999 as a Macy's home and furniture gallery, its largest stand-alone home furnishing store in Southern California. The 50,000 square foot ground floor became a Jo-Ann's fabric and crafts store. In 1997, Woolworth's became Venator in accordance with the chain's renaming.
Faced with a change in consumer shopping patterns, the consolidation of the department store industry, the existence of too many malls fragmenting the greater Los Angeles retail marketplace, lack of highway access and competition from the neighboring Nordstrom-anchored South Bay Galleria that opened in 1985, Del Amo began to suffer. In 2000, the Mann theater closed in accordance with the chain's folding and became LA Fitness. The same year, a Barnes & Noble store was constructed in the mall's northwest parking lot. Montgomery Ward dealt another blow when it closed following the chain's bankruptcy in June 2001 and failed to become[discuss] Target. This resulted in the closure of an entire wing of the mall, including Venator.
In early 2002, The Mills Corporation acquired Del Amo Fashion Center from Glazer's family for $420 million (USD). Subsequently, Mills sold a half-interest in the property to institutional investor funds managed by JPMorgan Fleming, before, in June 2005, initiating a $160 million redevelopment including demolition and redevelopment of the former northeastern wing where Montgomery Ward had been located, the renovation of 670,000 ft² (62,000 m²) of existing space and the addition of another 100,000 ft² (9,300 m²). Robinsons-May converted to a second full-line Macy's West on September 9, 2006 called Macy's South, while Macy's Apparel was renamed Macy's North.
The new open-air lifestyle center opened on September 14, 2006, bringing new specialty stores, dining, entertainment, a Lucky Strike Lanes (now occupied by Old Navy as of 2014), and an AMC Theatres 18-screen multiplex to the mall. Crate & Barrel opened a home furnishings store along the mall perimeter in spring 2007, replacing an IHOP restaurant and a Sushi Boy store.
In 2007, The Mills Corporation was jointly acquired by Simon Property Group and Farallon Capital Management. Simon assumed management of Del Amo Fashion Center at this time. In April 2008, the mall's website was placed under the Simon.com format along with sister Simon/Mills malls, like Ontario Mills, Hilltop Mall, the Block at Orange and Great Mall.
In late 2012, detailed plans to redevelop Del Amo on a much larger scale were unveiled. The mall's north end would be demolished entirely, replaced by a new two-level wing of luxury shops. In conjunction with the renovation, Nordstrom announced it would relocate its store from the South Bay Galleria in nearby Redondo Beach to Del Amo, anchoring the new wing.
The first phase of the project, redeveloping the wing of shops above Carson Street into a new food court, began in 2013. Work was completed in the spring of the following year, as retailers began vacating the north wing to make way for the renovation.
Plans to consolidate the mall's three Macy's stores into two were confirmed in 2014, with Macy's consolidating its standalone Macy's Home store into the existing Macy's Men's store. Simon then traded ownership of the Macy's Men's building for the Macy's Home building. Dick's Sporting Goods moved into the former Macy's Home space in early 2017.
After 18 months of construction, the northern portion of the mall officially opened on October 9, 2015. A medical building on the north end of the property and the existing one-story northern section were replaced with a two-story Fashion Wing, featuring a brighter and open "beach elegance" aesthetic to bring in more natural light and a mid-century modern look. The wing featured a mix of new-to-market retailers and holdovers from the former north end, including luxury retailers BOSS Hugo Boss, Kate Spade New York, Tumi, and Brooks Brothers; and flagship stores for Uniqlo, H&M, Express, Zara, and Victoria's Secret.
Several new and relocated restaurants fronted the new wing: local chains EMC Seafood & Raw Bar, Lemonade, Popbar, and FRIDA; Din Tai Fung, a prototype Brio Tuscan Grille, and a relocated Lucille's Smokehouse Bar-B-Que.
The south end of the property experienced minor renovations in line with the more elaborate north end changes, including signs delineating the wing "Del Amo Shopping Center" with a focus on general-purpose retail. In 2018, renovation plans were completed to replace a significant portion of the south end's inline retail space with a Dave & Buster's and a relocated Marshalls store. Outback Steakhouse, which was displaced by construction on the south end, reopened in the Outdoor Village on July 7, 2018. Mitsuwa Marketplace will open in the old TJ Maxx (which closed in 2016) and Marshall's building that is really part of the lifestyle outdoor village in November 2019.
During March 2019, there was a Foodbeast Dream Machine vending machine where one may post a selfie in exchange for free noodles and other prizes.
The Del Amo Fashion Center was a central location and plot element of the 1997 Quentin Tarantino film Jackie Brown, though most of the mall scenes took place at a fictional department store in the mall, called Billingsley, which was actually just the north Macy's store with a prop Billingsley sign put up over the Macy's sign. In addition, the mall was prominently featured in Martha Coolidge's Valley Girl, the mall's abandoned Montgomery Ward wing was used as the "Saguaro Square Mall" backdrop for the 2003 film Bad Santa with a fictional department store called Chamberlain's put up in the vacant Montgomery Ward building, and the mall was also used for scenes in the comedy film Why Him?. The mall was also used in Season 1, Episode 2 of the show Euphoria on HBO.
The Barnes & Noble store located in the northwest parking lot of the mall was the location used for the chain's 2012 holiday TV ad.
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