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Tuesday, Jun 25, 2024

‘Liveable Lifestyle Community’ Planned for Fashion Valley 

REAL ESTATE: 850 Units, New Retail to Replace JC Penney

SAN DIEGO – The JC Penney store at Fashion Valley Mall will be razed to make room for a residential development with 850 apartments by Chicago-based AMLI Residential and the addition of new stores and restaurants.  

The JC Penney store is scheduled to close at the end of 2025, with completion of the new project slated for late 2026. 

Neither AMLI Residential nor the mall’s owner, Simon, an Indianapolis real estate investment firm, would say much about the project, other than it would include 100,000 square feet of new retail space, restaurants and “lush open green spaces.” 

The project will have five levels of apartments with up to three levels of parking, according to Simon. 

Mark Silvestri
President of Development

“We’re excited about this next phase of Fashion Valley as we continue to reinvest and add a walkable, liveable lifestyle community that is intertwined with handpicked luxury brands that can only be found here,” said Mark Silvestri, president of development at Simon, the largest owner of shopping malls in the U.S. 

“Fashion Valley is the premier luxury shopping destination for San Diego and its surrounding areas, drawing an affluent shopper base from an exceptionally large trade area, including the greater San Diego region and Mexico,” said Vicki Hanor, Simon senior executive vice president and managing director of luxury leasing. 

“This is just the beginning of this exciting new chapter of robust growth as we look forward to welcoming even more iconic names to our growing list of luxury brands you can only find at Fashion Valley,” Hanor said. 

The mall last year completed what Fashion Valley Marketing Director Andrew Cortez called “a multi-million-dollar” renovation aimed at giving the mall a resort flair, adding several new retailers including Dior, Bottega Veneta, David Yurman and Dolce & Gabbana. 

Other stores due to open this year include Tudor, Veronica Beard and Zimmerman. 

“This redevelopment marks a new era of sophistication and convenient living in San Diego,” Silvestri said. 

Mall Properties’ New Revenue: Housing 

The plan to add a residential component to Fashion Valley is in line with similar projects elsewhere as mall owners move to update their property and look for new sources of revenue, said Alberto Lopez, project director with Project Management Advisors, a real estate and development consultant based in Solana Beach. 

It also puts Fashion Valley on a par with its primary competition in San Diego, Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield’s UTC mall, Lopez said. 

“They’re seeing what they’ve done in UTC and, quite frankly, it’s pushing them to elevate their game as well,” Lopez said. “They’re trying to figure out how to create something similar, if not better, in this strip of land.” 

The 23-story Palisade at Westfield, with 300 apartments, opened at the edge of the UTC mall in 2019 and billed itself at the time as having the highest monthly rents in San Diego County. 

Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield also announced in May that the original site of Nordstrom in the mall is being redeveloped into new storefronts and restaurants and will include adding 50,000 square feet of space in two separate buildings at the west end of the mall. 

Alberto Lopez
Project Director
Project Management Advisors

“We’re starting to see a lot of malls, especially the likes of Fashion Valley, UTC and Mission Valley, moving away from the big box retailers that typically anchor them. You’re starting to see a lot more upscale, high-end boutique shops, boutique brand names coming in, really trying to attract different customers,” Lopez said. “You’re really talking about serving a different type of clientele than retail malls were doing 20, 30 years ago.” 

Fashion Valley and UTC were particularly attractive for residential development because they are adjacent to San Diego Trolley stations, according to Lopez. 

“You want to be able to create kind of that destination for people, the kind of live, work, play,” Lopez said. 

Like Fashion Valley and UTC, Lopez said that other San Diego County malls and shopping centers are ripe for residential development. 

“If we look at East County, there’s the Grossmont Center mall that could be attractive to some developer if they make it pencil,” Lopez said.


Simon Property Group 

HEADQUARTERS: Indianapolis 

FOUNDED: 1960 

CEO: David Simon 

BUSINESS: real estate investment trust  


CONTACT: 317-636-1600 

NOTABLE: Simon Property Group is the largest owner of shopping malls in the U.S. 


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