As the new Nordstrom anchor store at Westfield UTC opened to the public on Thursday, the mall developer revealed the next stages in the center’s $600 million expansion.
As many as 90 more stores are scheduled to open beginning in November as part of the 145,000-square-foot project filling the one-time parking area along Genesee Avenue.
John Alderson, vice president of development, said Australia-based Westfield views the mall as one of its flagship properties and the University City location as “a really great canvas” to create a signature shopping and dining experience.
Alderson and other Westfield officials described plans for the new “Center” and “Pointe” areas of the mall that include:
- Landscaping with large olive trees and modern art chosen with the help of the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego
- New “first to market” stores like Vineyard Vines clothing and Allen Edmonds shoes
- A third valet parking entrance off La Jolla Village Drive
- 1,000 additional parking spaces in a five-story garage that will ultimately connect to a station on the San Diego Trolley Blue Line
Many of the new retail locations will be for restaurants, and officials promised variety and style.
“The goal for us was to have first-class dining — to bring restaurants to San Diego that haven’t been here before,” said Alderson.
One of those restaurants is Larsen’s Steakhouse, which is opening its first location outside of Los Angeles and Las Vegas on Nov. 16.
“La Jolla’s got some of the highest demographics in the country,” said owner Flemming Larson, explaining his decision to open the chain’s seventh restaurant at Westfield UTC.
The traditional steakhouse will seat 300 diners and employ 90 or more people. Larsen is currently directing the $1 million restaurant construction project, which includes wine storage lockers for guests to use.
Alderson said Westfield would soon announce additional new retailers and also reveal plans for the old Nordstrom store, which is now vacant.
>> Subscribe to Times of San Diego’s free daily email newsletter! Click hereFollow Us: