Major destination retail center opening in fall 2015 will create jobs and revitalize area.
LOS ANGELES – Led by Councilmember Bob Blumenfield, the Los Angeles City Council today approved a final subvention agreement to leverage local investment by sharing new City tax revenues with the Village at Westfield Topanga project. By allowing the project to recoup up to 50% of new City tax revenues generated over 25 years, the City enabled the approximately $350 million private investment to be fast tracked with construction in one phase, immediately creating jobs and economic benefits in the area.
“The Village at Westfield Topanga project will jump start a major economic engine in the West San Fernando Valley and provide substantial benefits to the entire city,” said Blumenfield. “My communities are excited that we are redeveloping this land to house a first class hub for entertainment and shopping, with a sustainable green and modern design.”
The Village at Westfield Topanga mixed-use development will invest about $350 million in the local economy with upscale retail, boutique specialty shops, personal services, restaurants, a Costco with a member-only fueling station, and a community center. The project will create middle class construction jobs and approximately 1,500 permanent jobs for local residents as a new major destination for shopping, dining, and investment in the Valley.
The project is expected to generate tens of millions in net new tax revenue for the City, including new sales tax revenue the City could not realize without such a project. Indirect City revenue benefits also will result from increasing property tax values, attracting other investments and improving the attractiveness of the West Valley as desirable places to live and do business.
Today’s agreement allows Westfield to recoup up to 50% of site specific net new revenues, up to a maximum of $25 million in net present value (current dollars). The actual return of revenues will depend on the net new revenue collected and tracked by the City through a rigorous post construction cost review and an annual ‘true up’ accounting of actual sales and other City taxes collected.
“In general I am a skeptic about subventions, but we have ensured that this financial assistance will take the form of revenue sharing provided through site specific revenues that make sense for the City and the taxpayers we serve,” Blumenfield added. “By partnering with Westfield to build this project in one phase, and sharing the benefits of the economic activity over the years, this project will be a win-win for the City and our communities.”
It also will be an anchor of the Warner Center 2035 Specific Plan, which sets a course for modern planning, green building standards, sustainability and job creation in the area.
“The recent passage of the Warner Center 2035 Plan envisions an exciting future for Warner Center. Westfield’s investment at the Village will be a catalyst for that exciting future,” said Brad Rosenheim on behalf of the Warner Center Association which represents many of the landowners and businesses in the area.
The project also includes a hotel and office towers which are planned for construction but are not included in the subvention agreement or 2015 timeline. When those elements are built, all tax revenues will remain with the City. Responding to community concerns that the hotel and office components are needed to realize the full economic benefits of the Project, Councilmember Blumenfield directed that the developer report back to the City Council annually on progress toward hotel construction until the entire project is built.
The Project is expected to break ground soon and will open in the fall of 2015.