BULLOCK'S FASHION SQUARE (Sherman Oaks)
Riverside Drive and Woodman Avenue
Los Angeles, California

The second Bullock's-built FASHION SQUARE mall 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) was built 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.

BULLOCK'S FASHION SQUARE (Sherman Oaks) was designed by the Los Angeles-based Welton Becket & Associates and Burke, Kober & Nicolais firms. Three initial 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 a 1-level (20,000 square foot) Desmond's.

A mall-wide dedication was held on August 13, 1962. Thirty-one stores opened for business. These included Draper's ladies' wear, Country Club Fashions, Sy Devore men's wear, Tot Toggery, the Jolly Roger restaurant and a freestanding (18,000 square foot) Westward Ho Market grocery. The mall was the first of four BULLOCK'S FASHION SQUARE developments to include a "La Casita" ("little house") community center.

An adjacent strip shopping center was completed in the mid-1960s. GLENDALE FEDERAL PLAZA spanned approximately 157,000 leasable square feet and included two banks, office spaces and a 2-level (30,000 square foot) Joseph Magnin. This store welcomed its first shoppers on September 8, 1966.

The first expansion of FASHION SQUARE was formally announced in April 1976. A 3-level (183,000 square foot), Los Angeles-based The Broadway would be built onto the west end of the complex. This store held its grand opening on November 5, 1977.

Two store blocks were added between the existing mall and new The Broadway. Moreover, two parking garages were built. These modifications increased the leasable area of the mall, now promoted as FASHION SQUARE SHERMAN OAKS. It encompassed approximately 682,200 leasable square feet, with a retail roster of fifty-five stores and services.

Work on a 50 million dollar renovation and expansion commenced in June 1988. The shopping center structure was enclosed, with a second level of retail stores added. The newly-refurbished shopping venue was dedicated on September 8, 1990. It housed around 850,000 leasable square feet and 135 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 SHERMAN OAKS had become one of L.A.'s most trendy shopping malls, eclipsing all of the 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, new nameplates had been installed at FASHION SQUARE SHERMAN OAKS. Bullock's became a Macy's on April 29, 1996. The Broadway, which had been expanded to 220,000 square feet, re-opened as a Bloomingdale's on November 16th.

In December 2002, Australia-based Westfield acquired a share in American properties owned by Rotterdam-based Rodamco. The co-owner of the mall, London-based Prudential PLC, retained their half interest.

Westfield renamed the venue WESTFIELD SHOPPINGTOWN FASHION SQUARE in early 2003 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 The Great Recession 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 floors, 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 now spanned 864,000 leasable square feet and contained one hundred and forty-five stores and services.

Westfield's American and European property portfolio was merged into the holdings of Paris-based Unibail-Rodamco in June 2018. A new company, known as Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield was created. Westfield shopping centers in Australia and New Zealand were not included in the merger.

Sources:

The Los Angeles Times
preservenet.cornell.edu/publications/Longstreth Branch Store.do
www.family-vacation-getaways-at-los-angeles.com / Vicki Funes, webmaster
Los Angeles County tax assessor website
www.la.racked.com
www.reuters.com