WESTMINSTER, Calif. — If things go according to plan, the Macy’s in Westminster Mall could be transformed into a collection of residential townhomes and a 2.5-acre public park with an amphitheater for summer concerts.
Meanwhile, the Sears wing of the mall could become a row of market-rate apartments with manicured landscaping and swimming pools. The current Sears parking lot site could morph into a three-star hotel with a pool, spa and outdoor lounge.
These are some potential plans Irvine-based developer Shopoff Realty Investments has submitted to Westminster for its 26-acre portion of the 1.3 million square foot, 100-acre Westminster Mall.
Shopoff announced its plans last week, Shopoff officials said.
"We think this is a best-in-class asset and are excited about the future," said Stephen Logan, senior vice president urban infill at Shopoff Realty, to Spectrum News.
Shopoff is among four owners of 51-year-old mall planning to transform it into a new vibrant, mixed-use regional destination.
The redevelopment comes as malls have become déclassé in the internet age, where customers can easily shop online and have items delivered straight to their homes.
Mall owners across Southern California have sensed the customer's shift, turning their aging malls into mixed-use properties that combine housing, retail and entertainment into one place.
Centennial Real Estate, which owns the three-story MainPlace Mall in Santa Ana, and Merlone Geier, the owner of Laguna Hills Mall and Buena Park Mall, are redeveloping their aging malls into mixed-use developments.
"Retail is not dead. It needs to be reconfigured," said Logan.
In recent years, Shopoff spent nearly $100 million acquiring the former big box Sears and Macy's on the outer wings of the Westminster Mall. Shopoff controls 26 acres of the 100-acre mall and surrounding parking lots.
Logan said their development, the Bolsa Pacific at Westminster, will be a thriving mixed-use community of multifamily homes with walkable community spaces, restaurants, retail and a nearby hotel.
Their plans call for nearly 1,100 market-rate contemporary-styled apartments, more than 100 for-sale residential townhomes, a 175-room hotel, a 2.5-acre park, a dog park, pickleball courts, and 25,000 square feet of retail, restaurants and a food hall.
Logan said the company plans to set aside some apartment units for affordable housing. The number has yet to be determined.
Shopoff, he said, is currently in negotiations with an unnamed buyer to sell a piece of the land so "they can build the hotel."
Shopoff officials said if the company receives the entitlements from the city, it could break ground on its portion in 2025.
"Together with the city of Westminster, we are envisioning a vibrant center where housing, hospitality, retail and nature come together," said William A. Shopoff, president and CEO of Shopoff Realty, in a news release. "This community will help to reinvigorate the local economy and bring value to the county and surrounding neighborhoods, elevating this prime piece of Orange County real estate into its highest and best use."
Logan said they are communicating with the other mall owners about the redevelopment. However, he is unsure what those owners have planned for their redevelopment ideas for the rest of the mall.
"I think everyone is aligned, given how the mall has deteriorated over the years," he said. "We're talking with them."
While Shopoff has announced their plans to transform their portion of the mall, Logan said they still have a long way to go.
Entitlements take a long time, he said, and there will be a public comment period so the community can weigh in on the project. So, there could be some changes.
Still, Shopoff Realty is excited to redevelop an aging mall into a transformative project that could turn an eye-sore into a regional hub.
"This is one of the biggest projects the company has taken on," said Logan. "We're excited, but we're focused on getting the entitlements right now."