Westfield Santa Anita introduced an elegant $20 million redesign of its center court area just before Thanksgiving and the holiday shopping season.
Arcadia Chamber of Commerce CEO Scott Hettrick welcomed a gathering of local dignitaries and Chamber board members and Ambassadors and introduced Mayor John Wuo and Westfield Santa Anita General Manager Ramon Oseguera. Delicious gourmet pastries and beverages were served.
Oseguera and Westfield officials described and showcased the changes that include stylish new lighting above and a new staircase so that customers do not have to walk so far to get from one level to the next, as well as creative and comfortable open seating areas.
The re-design also involved more than 1,400 gallons of paint and the installation of 144,687 square feet of new tile. An area with over-sized colorful holiday decorations and large tree stand where the carousel used to be. (Full photo gallery of photos from the event below…>
Hettrick noted that it is the 40th anniversary of the opening of the mall in 1974 and reminded attendees, some of which were longtime area residents, of the ongoing improvements that have been introduced by the Australian-based Westfield since taking over ownership/management in 1998 (initially re-naming the mall Westfield Shoppingtown Santa Anita before dropping “Shoppingtown” in 2005).
- 16-screen AMC theater, which has since added an IMAX screen — previously there had been only a four-screen General Cinema Corp. theater on the second level where the Old Navy store is now. That GCC movie theater closed in the mid-1990s.
- Dave & Buster’s
- multi-level parking garage with digital read-out of available spots on each level
- valet parking
- improved parking lot traffic flow design
- much larger food court than the small nook on the second level outside JC Penney
- Wood Ranch BBQ and now also The Cheesecake Factory
Two years later in fall 2006 Westfield added several trendy new retailers to the mall, headlined by one of the first H&M stores in the region.
And Hettrick said it was also the fifth anniversary of the grand opening of the Promenade outdoor shopping area on southwest side in May 2009, which now includes a play area and popular restaurants, such as the Hai Di Lao hot pot eatery that is the first one of the popular China chain to open in the United States.
The mall first opened in October 1974 by the owners of the neighboring Santa Anita Park horse race track. Not coincidentally, the mall, originally called Santa Anita Park, was opened near the same time as the completion and opening of the 210 Foothill Freeway.
Of the original four anchor department stores, only JC Penney remains, with Nordstrom added in the spot formerly occupied by Buffum’s in 1991 and Macy’s replacing The Broadway in 1996. Under Westfield, Forever 21 recently moved in to a reconfigured portion of the area occupied by Robinson’s May until 2006.[flagallery gid=257]