Plan will now continue on
Last minute discussions have yielded a mutually agreeable compromise between Westfield and two restaurants who had filed an appeal against the Planning Commission’s approval of two expansion stages for the Westfield Valencia Town Center.
Salt Creek Grille and Poquito Mas had filed an appeal with the City Council after the Santa Clarita Planning Commission passed an expansion plan for Westfield Valencia Town Center in July.
The appeal centered on some parking and public safety issues that had been important to the two restaurants for some time before the expansion.
The City Council was set to hold a public hearing on the matter, however by the time the issue came up, both sides announced the withdraw of the appeal.
“To the fullest extent possible we are withdrawing the appeal we filed for the mall expansion,” said the appellant’s attorney Hunt Braly. “We support the mall expansion.”
KHTS was told by sources close to the issue that the sides had been engaged in discussions behind the scenes. As a result, the issue was able to be resolved by both parties before the public hearing process.
The proposed expansion will add several new dimensions to the Valencia Town Center area. In phase one, a two story, 50,000 square foot expansion of Macys is being planned, as is a three story parking structure and two retail pads.
Phase two will take shape between JC Penny and Sears and will add a host of outdoor restaurant and retail space. So far, some of the establishments Westfield is talking to for the expansion include: Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse, the Cheesecake Factory, PF Chang's, Coach, Sephora, California Pizza Kitchen, bebe, Kate Spade, and others. An additional five story parking structure is also in the plans.
The plan originally included a third phase which was said to have a Nordstrom; however, Westfield has taken that phase off the table for the time being. It may still be addressed at a later time, and will go through its own City approval process.
Santa Clarita’s Planning Manager Lisa Hardy said that the expansion should play off the success they’ve had with the Town Center West area. She has also told KHTS that once the addition is complete, the sheer magnitude and diversity of the stores should put shopping in Santa Clarita on the map.
“I’ve seen some statistics, and it’s reported that we will certainly move up on the list of prominent mall locations in the Los Angeles region,” Hardy said in an interview in July.
And that sort of attention could lead to other opportunities as well. “This really creates an opportunity for future retail stores and anchor stores to be interested in coming to the Santa Clarita Valley,” Hardy commented.
Also at the City council meeting last night, the Council proclaimed October as Breast Cancer Awareness Month and End Domestic Violence Month.