Behind the scenes of The Village
The Westfield mall invited three student journalists from Louisville, and an adviser to come and get a behind-the-scenes construction tour. It was a very exciting experience.
Our tour started when we walked through a bright, yellow door. We were given yellow safety jacket, goggles and a hard hat with “Louisville High School” printed on it. Many schools joined us on our tour such as CSUN, Calabasas High School and others.
While starting our tour, we walked out of the building into the parking lot of Costco, which opened on Sept. 12. Our tour guide, Senior VP of Development Larry Green, told us that they had intended to make this the most beautiful Costco you have ever seen. Green also pointed out that the food court would be outside to showcase an open atmosphere.
While we continued to walk through the construction site, the open atmosphere was clearly visible to all. They will have 75 tenants, only five of which were still empty at the time of our tour. This open feeling allows you to see everything. Along with being able to see everything they wanted to be able to grab your attention from Topanga Blvd. This is represented by being able to see the different shops on the outskirts of the Village. Right on the main drag of Topanga you will be able to see REI, Susie Cakes and the Drybar. These are all places that will attract different kinds of people and various age groups.
Westfield decided to incorporate shops and restaurants together. They wanted to integrate them and make it so that every place on their strip would be busy, not just everyone hovering around a restaurant.
“We want to bring stores into the Valley that would not necessarily be here,” said Green.
They brought in different restaurants and stores that have not been seen yet by residents of the Valley. The restaurants were something that spent a great deal of effort in choosing. They wanted restaurants where you could sit down or just run in and go.
They were able to make this feeling by including: Tender Greens, M. Fredric’s, Il Fornaio (Italian cuisine). My favorite restaurant that they added is Lucille’s Barbecue. It is amazing!
The Village has big ideas for entertainment. They will have a radio station right on the property! This studio also has a giant window, which will allow you to look into the recording sessions and hopefully make requests. The shows will go on Monday through Friday. On Saturdays they will have live music performances! This is a great way for people at the Village to come together and connect.
“We wanted to make this a place where you would want to meet family and friends, a place where you can connect with others,” said Senior General Manager Molly Unger.
They have amazing things that truly do call out to the families. They will be putting in a giant birthday table that will fit about twenty people. They also have a huge jungle gym that looks like a leaves. This leaf-like plastic structure allows children to climb leaf by leaf up to the top. Once you reach that top part you are supposed to be able to see a lot of the Valley.
This all sounds very inviting, but it also might sound like a bit of a traffic jam. Have no fear, Westfield figured it all out for you.
They built a parking structure that will fit tons of cars. Within this parking structure the first hour will be free and after that every hour will cost only $1, and they are also looking into validation. They will also have trollies that will connect Topanga Mall, The Village and The Promenade. This trolley will have an app that can be downloaded through the Westfield app so you can see where the trolley is or when the next trolley will be arriving.
Everyone who is a part of this project could not be more excited to have it finished and have everyone come and visit. It officially opened September 18.
–Maddi Multer ’16
A visit to The Village
Pulling up to the valet in the parking structure, I was shocked to see dramatic chandeliers hanging from the ceiling and friendly, clean-cut workers walking up to take my keys. While walking down the escalator, I was greeted by the aesthetically pleasing sight of new buildings and well-groomed landscape. Strolling down the walkways I was surprised by the variety of unfamiliar shops and brand names of all the stores. It was all a bit overwhelming due to the newness of my surroundings, but luckily directories are located strategically throughout the shopping center.
My prediction is that The Village will come to be the valley equivalent of the popular Westside shopping center: The Grove.
Similar to The Grove, The Village features many new amenities such as numerous fountains, plenty of tables and chairs, wide walkways and an overall vibe of classiness and cleanliness. But The Village also includes children’s water play areas, an innovative children’s jungle gym, dog treat stations and water bowls, etc., which you cannot find at The Grove.
As of Sept. 28, the restaurants of the Westfield Village have all opened. My personal favorites include Tender Greens, Katsuya and Veggie Grill. I also recommend, for those of you who have a sweet tooth, Susie Cakes and Sloan’s (a brand new candy shop). Another new attraction was the J.D. Luxe fashion truck. The truck started as a mobile boutique traveling to different events and festivals all throughout California showcasing one of a kind pieces from local and emerging designers and is now located in The Village.
Overall, The Village left a positive first impression on me. I’m curious to see which new stores will fill the open spaces. I see a lot of opportunity and consumer potential, so I’m hoping to see the shopping center thrive. A feeling of excitement has been set around this project by our community, and finally we are seeing its deliverance.
— Morgan Cozzi ’16
Pictures: Katie O’Doherty ’16