Mall overhaul given go-ahead in Carlsbad

The Carlsbad City Council gave the go-ahead to major mall operator Westfield LLC to begin a revamp on the 482,000-retail-square-foot Plaza Camino Real mall, originally constructed on a 77-acre plot in 1969 and acquired by Westfield in the 1990s, when the company was busy acquiring most of the large shopping plazas across the county. As part of the makeover, the facility will be renamed Westfield Carlsbad.

Major projects include construction of a new fitness facility with indoor pool and rooftop basketball courts, and conversion of a long-vacant Robinson’s May building into a 12-screen theater.

Westfield also wants to expand the overall size of the mall 40,000 square feet by building out into the city-owned parking lot. That phase of the project will be delayed as the company attempts to negotiate a lease agreement with the city.


There's no reason that the city would have blocked that redevelopment. Business is off, way off, in that mall, and anything that might get the sales tax flowing again has to be tried. This isn't the first plan floated in regard to that mall. A few years ago Westfield was going to tear down the former Robinson's anchor at the east end of the mall. It was sitting there looking like something from "2001, A Space Odyssey", with no signage on it at all, a huge block structure. About five years ago, Westfield was supposedly ready to do some sort of makeover and then called it off due to the economy and finances. Instead they went all-out at University Town Center, and dropped hundreds of millions into that property--or so they claim. Then they redid North County Fair in Escondido and put a mullti-level Target in there. Now it is time to do something with PCR. Will it work? Don't count on that.

As to why they want another acre, mas o menos, for an expansion, I cannot imagine. If anything, I'd have thought they would be wanting to cut it down in size. That former Bullocks store on the north side near Sears was an afterthought add-on from the 1980 era. Does Macy's really want all the space they have? Maybe so.

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