Riverside Drive and Woodman Avenue
Los Angeles, California

The second in the succession of Bullock's-built FASHION SQUARES was located in Los Angeles' San Fernando Valley, 14 miles northwest of the city center, in the community of Sherman Oaks.

BULLOCK'S FASHION SQUARE (SHERMAN OAKS), a single-level, open-air venue, was situated on a 20.7 acre site, previously occupied by the McKinley Home For Boys. The plot was adjacent to the Ventura Freeway / US 101, which had been completed through The Valley in 1960.

Three initial FASHION SQUARE tenants opened for business April 22, 1962. These were the 5-level (309,600 square foot) Bullock's San Fernando Valley, 2-level (55,000 square foot) I. Magnin and 1-level Desmond's.

The remaining thirty-one stores began business August 13, 1962. The fully-completed, 422,900 square foot, shopping hub featured Joseph Magnin, Wetherby-Kayser Shoes, C. H. Baker Shoes, Bells Gifts, Country Club Fashions ladies' wear, Draper's ladies' wear, Garland's ladies' wear and Tot Toggery children's wear. "VALLEY FASHION SQUARE" was the first Bullock's-built mall to include La Casita (or "little house"), a 1,000 seat community center.

The first expansion was formally announced in April 1976. A 3-level (183,000 square foot), Los Angeles-based The Broadway was built onto the west end of the center. This store held its grand opening November 5, 1977. Two store blocks were also added between the existing mall and new The Broadway. Moreover, two parking garages were built. These modifications increased the leasable area of the center to 695,000 square feet, with a retail roster of forty-three stores and services.

A 50 million dollar renovation and expansion was announced in 1988. The shopping center structure was fully enclosed, with a second level of retail stores added. The newly-refurbished shopping venue -now known as SHERMAN OAKS FASHION SQUARE- was dedicated in September 1990. The mall now housed over 850,000 leasable square feet and one hundred and forty stores. These included Ann Taylor, Limited Express, Williams-Sonoma and a second level Food Court.

The center suffered major damage from the Northridge earthquake of January 17, 1994. The upper level of Bullock's collapsed and The Broadway had extensive damage from ruptured water mains. The Broadway was the first of the anchor stores to re-open. Two levels resumed business July 2, 1994. Level 3 re-opened late in the same year. Two floors of the Bullock's building re-opened June 9, 1994. Floor 3 returned to operation in July, with Floor 4 re-opening in October of the same year.

By this time, the FASHION SQUARE had become one of L.A.'s most trendy shopping malls...eclipsing all of the competing shopping centers in its vicinity. VALLEY PLAZA (1951) {2.8 miles northeast, in Los Angeles} had always been unable to compete with the FASHION SQUARE. Moreover, VALLEY PLAZA never recovered from damage it incurred from the 1994 temblor. Likewise, SHERMAN OAKS GALLERIA (1980) {1.5 miles west, also in Los Angeles} was done in by competition from FASHION SQUARE and the '94 earthquake. It was demalled between 1999 and 2002.

Meanwhile, back at SHERMAN OAKS FASHION SQUARE, new nameplates had been installed. Bullock's became Macy's on April 29, 1996. The Broadway, which had been expanded to 220,000 square feet, re-opened as a Bloomingdale's November 16, 1996.

With the dissolution of Rotterdam, Holland-based Rodamco, in December 2002, the Australia-based Westfield Group acquired a fifty percent share in FASHION SQUARE. The co-owner, London-based Prudential PLC, retained their half interest in the shopping center. As would be expected, Westfield renamed the venue. It became WESTFIELD SHOPPINGTOWN FASHION SQUARE in November 1998 and WESTFIELD FASHION SQUARE in June 2005.

Following their renovation of the CENTURY CITY CENTER and TOPANGA PLAZA properties, Westfield announced a similar remodeling project for WESTFIELD FASHION SQUARE in February 2007. However, these plans were shelved due to a crashed national economy and community opposition.

The mall was given an interior upgrade in the Twenty-tens. Work commenced on the existing Food Court in November 2011. It reemerged, as a "Dining Terrace", on May 18, 2012. Meanwhile, new tile flooring, lighting and landscaping were installed throughout the mall. Stores such as Chez Salon & Spa, Kiehl's Skincare Boutique and Forever 21 joined the tenant roster. Work was completed in November 2013.


"Westfield Fashion Square" article on Wikipedia
www.family-vacation-getaways-at-los-angeles.com / Vicki Funes, webmaster
Los Angeles County tax assessor website
The Los Angeles Times


Anonymous said...

The Bullock's (currently Macy's) at Fashion Square actually has 4 levels not 3 and is about 360,000 sq ft.

Randy said...

According to the LA Times Archives (and microfilmed images), Bullock's opened on April 30, 1962, and The Broadway on November 5, 1977.