Fashion Valley Mall - History

History

Fashion Valley Mall, developed by Ernest W. Hahn, opened in 1969, in part on the former site of the baseball stadium called Westgate Park. Aimed to be the leading shopping center in the San Diego region, it boasted four anchors, The Broadway, JCPenney, J.W. Robinson's and Buffum's. For several years it competed with the neighboring Mission Valley Center.

Since its opening, the mall has undergone several expansions and changes. The first in August 1981 added Nordstrom and Neiman Marcus, establishing Fashion Valley as the fashion leader in the valley. Following this redevelopment, in 1991, Buffum's closed, and their location was reopened in 1992 by upscale specialty San Francisco department store I. Magnin. However, the upscale company eventually closed all stores in the mid-90s, and the Fashion Valley location was replaced by Saks Fifth Avenue in 1995. Robinson's became a Robinsons-May in 1993, while The Broadway was purchased by Macy's in 1996. Due to underperformance, Saks Fifth Avenue closed its Fashion Valley location on July 17, 2010.

In October 1997, Gene Kemp led a $110 million renovation project, enlarging the Macy's, Nordstrom and Robinsons-May stores. It increased the mall size to 1,700,000 square feet (160,000 m2), 205 stores, and added 5 parking structures to accommodate 8,000 cars. In 2001, the owner of the property, Lend Lease Prime Property Fund, brought in Simon Property Group as half-owner and manager of the property.

Due to the merger of May Department Stores and Federated Department Stores in 2006, Robinsons-May shuttered their store in March 2006, and the location was replaced by a Bloomingdale's department store on November 18, 2006, the first ever in San Diego.

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