Westfield UTC
Westfield UTC - RCLC02.jpg
Panorama of the center square of Westfield UTC
LocationUniversity City, San Diego, California
Address4545 La Jolla Village Drive, San Diego, CA 92122
Opening date1977
DeveloperThe Hahn Company
ManagementUnibail-Rodamco-Westfield
OwnerUnibail-Rodamco-Westfield
No. of stores and services199 (as of 2020)
No. of anchor tenants9 (8 open, 1 vacant)[1]
Total retail floor area1,066,842 ft²[1]
Websitewestfield.com/utc

Westfield UTC (formerly known as University Towne Centre) is an open-air shopping mall located in the University City community of San Diego, California built in 1977. It lies just east of La Jolla, near the University of California, San Diego campus. It is owned – except for the ex-Sears parcel – by the Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield. Its anchors include Macy's, Nordstrom and a 14-screen Arclight Cinema.

History

Ernest W. Hahn first proposed building UTC in 1972. Upon opening in 1977, the anchor stores were Robinson's (later Robinsons-May), The Broadway (now Macy's), and Sears. In 1984, Nordstrom, 31 new stores, and new parking structures opened.

In 1989, UTC was the site of an international incident when a minivan belonging to William C. Rogers III, who had been implicated in the shootdown of Iran Air Flight 655, was bombed there.[2]

In 1998, Westfield bought UTC, except for the parcel owned by Sears. That same year, the Macy's and Robinson's-May locations expanded. J.P. Morgan Investment bought a 50% interest in UTC.

A $12 million remodel in 2007 added grassy areas, trellises with flowering vines, palm trees and fountains, according to UTC in a park-like or "European village" atmosphere, with carts, flowers, fruits and an al fresco food pavilion.”[3]

2010s phased expansion

In 2008, a one-billion-dollar revitalization plan for UTC was approved by the San Diego City Council. However, due to the Late-2000s recession, the revitalization project was put on hold for several years and later reduced to $500 million,[4] but later again revised up to $600 million.

Northwest side

In 2011, the first, $180 million phase of the revitalization commenced: the mall's food court was transformed into an indoor/outdoor Dining Terrace while the former Robinsons-May building was subdivided to house three new retailers: a large-scale Forever 21, a relocated 24 Hour Fitness, a 14-screen ArcLight Cinema, plus Tiffany, J.Crew, and Lululemon stores.[5]

In 2016, construction began on a 400,000-square-foot expansion on the northwest section, including:[6][7]

  • a new 144,000-square-foot Nordstrom, which opened in October 2017, with the old Nordstrom building to be repurposed or replaced.[6]
  • a new parking garage on the west-central side. The UTC Transit Center trolley station will go in at its south end, which will be the northern terminus of the San Diego Trolley's Blue Line extension, scheduled to open in 2021.[8]
  • 90 new shops, restaurants and services, of which about a third were open by the end of 2017.

Culinary emphasis

Many new restaurants were added during this period including a Shake Shack and a Javier's. Michele Parente, restaurant critic at the San Diego Union-Tribune, called UTC her favorite area for restaurants in San Diego County, noting the presence of Din Tai Fung, Sweetfin Poké, Paranà Empanadas, Napizza, The Winery, Smokehouse BBQ, True Food Kitchen, and La Colombe Coffee Roasters, stating: "eating is what they're selling there now".[9]

Northeast side/former Sears

While construction continued at the northwest of UTC, on the northeast side, Sears closed in July 2017.[10] The Sears parcel is owned by Seritage Growth Properties, a spinoff of Sears.[11] Portions of the space have become Corner Bakery Cafe, Williams Sonoma/Pottery Barn Kids, and Equinox Fitness, with Crate & Barrel on an outparcel.[12]

Other

Palisades at UTC, a 23-story, 300-unit luxury apartment building located at the southeast corner of the site, opened in 2019.[13]

References

  1. ^ a b Westfield Group - UTC Portfolio
  2. ^ Reinhold, Robert; Times, Special To the New York (1989-03-11). "Blast Wrecks Van of Skipper Who Downed Iran Jet". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2020-01-08.
  3. ^ "The Call of the Mall". www.sandiegomagazine.com.
  4. ^ "UTC launches $500M expansion". San Diego Union-Tribune. July 14, 2015.
  5. ^ Tanya Mannes for the San Diego Union-Tribune. Sept. 7, 2011 Westfield UTC kicks off $1b renovation project
  6. ^ a b "Nordstrom opening kicks off Westfield UTC expanded offerings". San Diego Union-Tribune. October 14, 2017.
  7. ^ "Westfield - United States". www.westfield.com.
  8. ^ San Diego Association of Governments. Mid-Coast Trolley
  9. ^ Woo, Candice (December 27, 2018). "Industry Experts Name San Diego's Best Dining Neighborhoods". Eater San Diego.
  10. ^ Peterson, Hayley (2017-06-22). "Struggling retailer is closing 20 additional stores -- Here's the full list of shuttered locations". AOL.com. Retrieved 2017-12-29.
  11. ^ "At Westfield UTC | Seritage". seritage.com.
  12. ^ "The Sears at UTC is being replaced by a fancy new development (with an Equinox)". San Diego Union-Tribune. October 16, 2018.
  13. ^ "One of San Diego's most expensive apartment complexes open".

External links

Coordinates: 32°52′11″N 117°12′43″W / 32.8698°N 117.212°W / 32.8698; -117.212