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Officials Plan Trip to Lure Support for Mall

VENTURA COUNTY ROUNDUP | EAST COUNTY / SIMI VALLEY

May 04, 1999|TONY LYSTRA

The city owns a parcel of land, but to make the dream of having a regional mall on it a reality, officials need to find the right retailer. So they are planning a trip to Las Vegas this month.

"It's one thing to have a mall, and it's another thing to have the right stores there to keep it active and open," said City Councilwoman Barbra Williamson.

The city purchased land in 1992 at Highway 118 and 1st Street on which officials hope to build a 800,000-square-foot mall. But the city has yet to strike a deal with any anchor tenants or large department stores to attract shoppers.

That is at least partly because giant retailers have been consolidating over the years, creating fewer retail options for malls looking for anchor tenants, said Brian Gabler, assistant city manager for economic development.

On May 23, city officials will journey to Las Vegas for the five-day International Conference of Shopping Centers, in hope of attracting mega-retailers.

Council members Williamson, Paul Miller, Glen Becerra, Steve Sojka as well as Gabler and City Manager Mike Sedell will attend the conference.

The annual event attracts virtually every national and international retailer, restaurant chain and hotel that a shopper can imagine, Sedell said. The businesses meet with city officials, who try to interest them in moving to their areas.

Sedell said Simi Valley officials are looking for a consumer electronics store, a sporting goods store and major department stores such as Macy's and Robinsons-May.

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