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Retail Center Gets Another Chance to Succeed : Now Enclosed, Fallbrook Mall Will Reopen This Week After $40-Million Renovation

July 13, 1986|DAVID M. KINCHEN | Times Staff Writer

Twenty-two years after it opened, Canoga Park's Fallbrook Square shopping center is getting a second chance for success.

Renamed the Fallbrook Mall, the shopping center at 6633 Fallbrook Ave., between Victory Boulevard and Vanowen Street, will open Tuesday with an enclosure designed by Charles Kober & Associates of Los Angeles.

Fallbrook Square, an 800,000-square-foot open-air regional center anchored by J C Penney and Sears, opened in October, 1964, according to John Bucksbaum, president of General Growth of California Inc., owners of the center since 1984.

Overshadowed by Competition

"Unfortunately, it opened the same year that Topanga Plaza, the first enclosed mall in Southern California, was completed," he said.

"Topanga Plaza, east of Fallbrook at Topanga Canyon Boulevard, quickly overshadowed Fallbrook Square. In fact, Topanga Plaza rapidly became a tourist attraction, with tour buses visiting it regularly."

As part of the $40-million renovation and remodeling program, the old Fallbrook mall was gutted from Sears to Penney's, rebuilt and enclosed with skylights and a space-frame structure. Contrasting with the high-tech white tubular space frame will be colorful banners, according to Tracey Hall, vice president/adminstration and marketing at General Growth.

"Two new department stores--Mervyn's and Target--opened last October and we have room for two more department stores and 50 more mall shops," she said. "On Tuesday, 80 mall shops will open, but the opening of one of our most spectacular features will come later this summer."

That feature is an elaborate food court at the main entrance to the mall. The food court will include 14 restaurants and is expected to attract 60% of the shoppers, Hall said, adding that convenient restrooms will be provided both in the food court and in the mall proper.

Built-in Stage

Other features of the 1.25-million-square-foot, 75-acre mall include a permanent built-in stage with theatrical lighting for fashion shows and entertainment; a shopper's aid service center with stroller and wheelchair rentals, postage stamps, photocopying, gift certificates and package shipment, and a 100-seat community room available to nonprofit groups, Hall said.

Also scheduled for renovation is the former North Mall, renamed Fallbrook Mall Village. This area includes a Sav-on drugstore, Liquor Barn, a bank branch, restaurants and service facilities such as shoe repair shops, insurance offices and travel agencies.

The sprawling mall also includes free-standing movie theaters, a Seafood Broiler restaurant, an auto service center and a yarn store.

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