Some famous mice live across the street, where record-breaking numbers of people have gone to visit, but things haven't gone as planned for the GardenWalk mall in Anaheim. In the latest chapter in the mall's rough go of it, the Anaheim City Council this week approved a general plan amendment that changes the mix of retail and entertainment uses at GardenWalk in response to the mall's dreadful 55 percent occupancy rate, reports the OC Register. The mall has been struggling since opening in 2008, defaulting on a $210 million construction loan in December of 2009 and returning to bank ownership. Related Companies, which has managed the mall since 2010, has sought additional dining and entertainment allotments in the hope of achieving a revitalization similar to that of City Place in West Palm Beach, FL.
According to the OCR, the amendment to the Anaheim General Plan reduces the amount of retail space at the mall by 140,000 square feet. The plan amendment also increases entertainment space by 112,000 square feet and restaurant space by 50,000 square feet. The new plan will expand the dining and entertainment offerings that have succeeded along Katella Avenue (like The Cheesecake Factory, California Pizza Kitchen, and Bubba Gump Shrimp Co.). The retail shops north of Katella have struggled to stay open, accounting for the poor occupancy rate. Related Companies has set a target of next spring for a "grand reopening."
· Anaheim mall only 55% full plans to 'revitalize' [OC Register]
· Latest to Default on a Loan: Anaheim Edition [Curbed LA]