Plaza West Covina

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Plaza West Covina
LocationWest Covina, California, United States
Coordinates34°04′15″N 117°55′57″W / 34.0709°N 117.9325°W / 34.0709; -117.9325Coordinates: 34°04′15″N 117°55′57″W / 34.0709°N 117.9325°W / 34.0709; -117.9325
Address112 Plaza Drive
Opening date1962 as West Covina Plaza
1975 as West Covina Fashion Plaza
DeveloperSylvan Shulman (1962)
May Centers, Inc. (1975)
ManagementStarwood Capital Group
OwnerStarwood Retail Partners
No. of stores and services185
No. of anchor tenants7 (6 open, 1 vacant)
Total retail floor area1,200,000 sq ft (110,000 m2)
No. of floors2 (1 in Best Buy, Gold's Gym, and Nordstrom, 3 in Parking Garage and former Sears)
Websiteshoppingplazawestcovina.com

Plaza West Covina, formerly Westfield West Covina, and before that Plaza at West Covina, West Covina Fashion Plaza, and West Covina Plaza, is a large regional shopping mall in West Covina, California, owned by the Starwood Capital Group. Its anchor stores are Macy's, JCPenney, XXI Forever, Nordstrom Rack, Best Buy, and Gold's Gym with one vacant space last occupied by Sears. Westfield America, Inc., a precursor to Westfield Group, acquired the shopping center in 1998 and renamed it "Westfield Shoppingtown West Covina", dropping the "Shoppingtown" name in June 2005.[1] In October 2013, Westfield Group sold the mall to Starwood Capital Group.[2][3]

History[edit]

Penney's and West Covina Center (1954)[edit]

The history of what is now Plaza West Covina dates back to two original shopping centers.

In 1954, plans were announced for the new 36-acre, 50-store West Covina Center at the eastern end of what is now the Plaza space anchored by a 50,000 square-foot J. C. Penney, with parking for over 2,000 cars. It was to cost $5 million, financed and built by Los Angeles financier Sylvan S. Shulman and associates. It was stated at the time that the Penney's would be "West Covina's metropolitan-type store".[4]

Broadway/Desmond's "Plaza" (1962)[edit]

The Broadway, opened August 6, 1962[5] and Desmond's, a specialty retailer, opened April 30, 1962,[6] anchoring a new West Covina Plaza, at the northwest end of what is now the Plaza.[7] The complex would be incorporated into the later Plaza, but was demolished in 1974 except for The Broadway and Desmond's.

Deterioration[edit]

By 1968, the city of West Covina's general plan identified deterioration in the shopping centers district, such as poor traffic circulation, noting that it was one of the first cities in the country to identify deterioration in a modern planned shopping center district. Traffic circulation was poor, the Penney's-anchored "Center" was "poorly built and planned" and the Broadway-anchored "Plaza" while "built to a high standard of architectural and landscaping design", "could use some color to add to its appeal", according to the study.[7]

Fashion Plaza (1975)[edit]

In 1973, plans were announced to build a new, large, enclosed mall to replace the two existing malls, to be known as West Covina Fashion Plaza, which would open in 1975. Sylvan S. Shulman was the developer and Burke Kober Nicolais was the architect.[8]

The old centers would be demolished, except for The Broadway–Desmond's complex.

  • JCPenney moved from its old building at the "Center" at 1120 West Garvey into its new building which opened together with 40 mall shops on October 22, 1975 and measured 216,777 square feet (20,139.2 m2) including the freestanding auto center[9]
  • Bullock's (150,000 square feet (14,000 m2)) opened on September 25, 1975[10]
  • The 1962 Broadway building (151,000 square feet (14,000 m2)) remained as an anchor of the new mall[8]
  • Desmond's folded in the late 1970s and became a 2-story Tower Records location.

1990s[edit]

In 1991, then-named Sylvan S. Shulman Co. changed the official name of the shopping venue to Plaza At West Covina. In 1992–1993, a new wing anchored by Robinsons-May was constructed east of the Bullock's store. The first major anchor changes didn't come until 1996, when Federated Department Stores sold The Broadway store to Bloomingdale's, but due to lease issues, it became a Sears instead, and converted the Bullock's location to Macy's. Sears opened their new location in 1996, moving from a nearby stand-alone location in Covina.

2000s and Expansion[edit]

On September 9, 2006, Federated renamed the old Robinsons-May store as Macy's and temporarily operated two stores at the mall.

Tower Records closed in late 2006. The mall's parking lot was also home to the newest Bob's Big Boy restaurant, which was located in the old Chevy's space (since closing) and a new concert venue Crazy Horse Live.

In the late 2000s the mall was redeveloped:[11]

  • Phase I was the expansion of the former Robinsons-May space into an 180,000-square-foot (17,000 m2) Macy's.
  • Phase II consisted of:
    • Demolishing the vacant former 144,527-square-foot (13,427.0 m2) Bullock's/Macy's building (closed since March 2008) into a mini-anchor space for Best Buy and the addition of approximately 130,000 square feet (12,000 m2) of retail and 5 restaurants along the northern façade of the mall.
    • Phase II includes the addition of the Best Buy, which relocated from an older location across from the mall, and remodel and flagship introduction of Forever 21.
  • Phase III extended the lifestyle development of Phase II into the remaining northern façade of the mall between Red Robin and Sears, which included the addition of approximately 32,000 square feet (3,000 m2) and the reconfiguration of exiting mall space. This phase featured a second mini-anchor space of 45,000 square feet (4,200 m2) for a Nordstrom Rack as well as a Gold's Gym.

2010s[edit]

In 2015, Sears Holdings spun off 235 properties, including the Sears at Plaza West Covina, into Sertiage Growth Properties.[12]

On November 7, 2019, it was announced that Sears would be closing this location a part of a plan to close 96 stores nationwide. The store closed on February 16, 2020.[13]

In October 2020, Spirit Halloween opened up a temporary location in the vacant Sears space for the Halloween Season. As of November, 2nd, 2020, Spirit Halloween moved out of the building, leaving the space now vacant.[14]

Plaza West Covina Today[edit]

Plaza West Covina is a large regional mall with 185 shops, stores, and restaurants. The mall is two levels and is anchored by Macy's (180,000 sq ft (17,000 m2)) to the east, JCPenney (193,963 sq ft (18,019.8 m2)) to the south, former Sears (137,820 sq ft (12,804 m2)) to the west, Best Buy (45,000 sq ft (4,200 m2)) to the north, the newly opened XXI Forever flagship store (to the north) and Nordstrom Rack. There is a food court on the second level as well as other restaurants, and other food & drink kiosks. The Mall features many fashion shops such as; H&M, Sephora, M.A.C., Hollister, Express, American Eagle Outfitters, and The Children's Place.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Albright, Mark (June 1, 2005). "If you didn't call them 'shoppingtowns,' don't: Three local malls that called themselves by the Australian name will quietly drop the label". Tampa Bay Times.
  2. ^ "Westfield Group Announces Multiple Center Transaction With Starwood Capital Group" (Press release). Starwood Retail Partners. Archived from the original on 15 November 2013. Retrieved 15 November 2013.
  3. ^ "Starwood Capital Group Completes $1.6B Acquisition of Seven Dominant Regional Malls From Westfield Group" (Press release). PR Newswire. November 18, 2013.
  4. ^ "Reveal Plans for $5 Million Shopping Area". Covina Argus. March 25, 1954.
  5. ^ "2,000 Attend West Covina Store Opening". Pomona Progress Bulletin. August 7, 1962.
  6. ^ "Advertisement for Desmond's". Pomona Progress-Bulletin. April 29, 1962.
  7. ^ a b "Major Effort Asked Against Blight in City (1/2)". Los Angeles Times. March 7, 1968."Major Effort Asked Against Blight in City (2/2)". Los Angeles Times. March 7, 1968.
  8. ^ a b Turpin, Dick (January 14, 1973). "Regional Shopping Center Slated". Los Angeles Times.
  9. ^ "JCPenney on Schedule". Los Angeles Times. September 24, 1975.
  10. ^ "Bullock's to Open in West Covina". Pomona Progress-Bulletin. September 24, 1975.
  11. ^ "Macy's site demolished at Westfield West Covina". San Gabriel Valley Tribune. MediaNews Group. 2008-10-01. Archived from the original on December 6, 2008. Retrieved 2008-10-02.
  12. ^ "At Plaza West Covina - Seritage". Seritage.com. Retrieved 8 January 2019.
  13. ^ Tyko, Kelly; Bomey, Nathan (November 7, 2019). "Sears and Kmart store closings: 51 Sears, 45 Kmart locations to shutter. See the list". USA Today. Retrieved November 7, 2019.
  14. ^ https://stores.spirithalloween.com/ca/westcovina/halloween-store-60752.m.html. Missing or empty |title= (help)

External links[edit]