Monday, October 05, 2009

Westfield Downtown Plaza - Sacramento

Nothing breeds retail controversy more than Sacramento's Westfield Downtown Plaza.

This large superregional center, smack in downtown Sacramento, was once a shining beacon. However, times have changed and this mall has not. Sacramento and Westfield has been fighting for years to get this center redeveloped. Everyone has an idea of what they want, but no one can agree.

Once this mall hosted a number of flagship stores for the region. The area's largest Macy's is here, complete with its own Men's and Furniture location. Yet, stores have begun to shut down. Even Banana Republic left. Much of the eastern side of the mall is devoid of any stores. However, the western side is still bustling.

The architecture of this mall seems to be a hindrance. Sightlines are obscured by large columns. With the contrast between bright sunlight and dark overhangs, its nearly impossible to see the stores from a distance.

With Sacramento's scalding long summers, I could easily support enclosing this mall. In fact, a portion of this mall is enclosed. A long corridor south of the Rotunda court is enclosed. However, it may not have been touched since the 80s. Oddly enough, it has a second floor which used to contain stores, but it is no longer accessible. An enclosed corridor north of the Rotunda court, pictured above, now is a credit union and no longer holds retail stores. Note the fancy woodwork on the ceiling.

Baffling enough, I don't know if this mall strives to be a festival center, much like Pier 39 in San Francisco, or a regional fashion center. Looking around, not many people live Downtown.

I'm not sure what to think of Downtown Plaza. Once it finds its identify and redevelops, I think this mall can be a star of retail players.


See the current aerial view.


Jonah Norason (Pseudo3D) said...

I think enclosing Downtown Plaza would be a grand idea. Rename it, give it a clean nice feel, and add a Target or maybe a grocery store. Makes me wonder if someday the lifestyle centers will become run-down someday too.

Marty Kobata said...

Today's (12/15) Sacramento Bee has a story on the mall that says Westfield may be willing to sell the mall.

Anonymous said...

The mall is actually looking a lot better lately. I work downtown so I frequent the mall for the food court, but noticed over the last 6 months, they have been doing a lot of refurbishment. You should see the middle area now where the laser show used to be, it looks very different. Also, I read they are expanding the 24 Hour Fitness (which would be great if I worked out :) Carl's Jr. closed and that has made the mall feel a lot safer because the thugs and bums don't come to the mall any more because their food source is good. I really like this place! A hidden gem!