The Westfield Corp. is facing pointed questions from homeowners as it moves forward with a massive $1.5 billion redevelopment plan for its aging Promenade mall in Woodland Hills.
Larry Green, Westfield’s senior vice president of U.S. development, gave a slide show presentation to the Woodland Hills Homeowners Organization Wednesday night, touting a plan that would bring two hotels, 1,400 apartments, a 28-story office tower, park, retail outlets and a 15,000-seat stadium to the site at Oxnard Street and Topanga Canyon Boulevard.
“It is a big investment,” Green said.
But some homeowners expressed concerns.
“Mostly right now it looks like the traffic component is going to be a problem,” John Walker, executive vice president of the homeowners organization, told the Daily News after the meeting.
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About 100 people attended the gathering at Kaiser Permanente Medical Center in Woodland Hills.
“This impact is going to be traumatic on us. Really bad,” said a woman from the crowd. “This sounds like Disneyland to me … At this point we’re going to be impacted with the traffic. And there’s no doubt about it.”
In October, Westfield filed a permit application with the city of Los Angeles for its so-called Westfield Promenade 2035. The website for the project, Promenade2035.com, says it will create more than 12,000 jobs during construction and once the project is completed generate $1.6 billion annually in economic output.
Green emphasized the development will ultimately create a transit-friendly urban center in the area, similar to downtown Los Angeles.
“The idea is that you can live, you can go to work and you can go and shop and play without having to get in your vehicle. You can do it walking,” Green explained.
Los Angeles City Councilman Bob Blumenfield, who represents the area, previously told the Daily News the project is an “exciting prospect for the West Valley,” adding that it could create “desperately needed” housing in the area. Blumenfield did not attend Wednesday’s meeting, but sent a representative on his behalf.
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Once the gathering ended, Green said he was satisfied with the exchanges.
“I think it went well. We’re in the very beginning of the process,” he said. “Having a real constructive dialogue is really important and will allow us as we move the project forward to deliver what the community is expecting and wanting.”
He anticipated construction could begin in 2020, pending environmental impact studies, planning commission approval and more community input.
Attorney Walker described the Westfield development plan as “a work in progress,” adding, “There’s a lot of unanswered questions. But we’ll work through it.”