Westfield Plans $300 Million Conversion of Carlsbad Mall

Sydney-based Westfield Group is planning a $300 million renovation of Plaza Camino Real in Carlsbad, as it converts the 45-year-old indoor mall into an open-air shopping center.

The second phase of an ongoing renovation, which began last fall, includes removing the roof, adding seating and landscaping, and bringing in new retail stores and restaurants.

The concept is part of an “ongoing evolution” of the mall, to provide upscale shopping and entertainment elements, said Jerry Engen, senior vice president for Westfield Group.

Incoming new tenants have not yet been announced for the renovated center, which will be renamed Westfield Carlsbad. Officials said the mall’s four current department store anchors will remain in place and open during construction.

Plans will be submitted to the city within the next few weeks and will be reviewed by the planning commission and city council. The Carlsbad Planning Commission is expected to consider the proposal in the fall, with the mall operator aiming for a 2015 construction start and a fall 2016 completion.

Operators this fall will open recently completed components of the first phase of improvements in the mall’s eastern portion, including a new 24 Hour Fitness Super Sport and a new luxury-oriented Regal Cinemas.

Westfield projects the full renovation will create 1,200 construction jobs, 1,000 permanent jobs and $1.2 million in new annual tax revenue for the city of Carlsbad.

The mall operator owns or holds stakes in seven San Diego County shopping centers.

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