Janss Marketplace Considers Plans for Housing and More

Expansion plans at Janss Marketplace could include housing at the Thousand Oaks mall along with a restaurant and more retail venues.

The upcoming projects follow the recent sale of a portion of the retail center to companies working with Calabasas-based NewMark Merrill Cos. The deal, announced in December, means NewMark, a retail real estate firm, now controls the entire Janss Marketplace property.

“Like anything else, retail evolves,” said Sandy Sigal, CEO of NewMark Merrill.

The deal follows another big change at the mall: a five-story hotel project that won approval in November.

The new addition to NewMark’s quiver adds 172,008 square feet where the former Sears building stands. The two-story site now houses Nordstrom Rack, Dave & Buster’s arcade and sports bar and DSW Designer Shoe Warehouse. The three businesses take up about 60% of the space.

NewMark Merrill has renamed the new acquisition The Collection at Janss Marketplace.

The property was sold by New York City-based Seritage Retail Group to three limited liability companies for about $27.5 million, according to filings with the Ventura County Clerk-Recorder’s office.

Sigal said another LLC owns the rest of Janss Marketplace.

Plans for 55,000 square feet of currently unoccupied space at The Collection could include a restaurant near the corner of Hillcrest Drive and Wilbur Road, Sigal said. Second-floor stores and services could include repair shops and schools for gymnastics, dance, karate and the like.

“We’re going to clean up the center and make it more consistent with the standards we have at Janss Marketplace,” Sigal said.

The exterior will be modified to match the rest of the mall. Landscaping, signs and outdoor seating will be added. The entire mall, including The Collection, totals about 630,000 square feet of retail space.

The overall mall property, located at Moorpark Road and Hillcrest Drive, was recently designated for mixed-use zoning when the City Council updated the city’s general plan last month.

“Mixed use” allows for 20-30 residential units per acre, said Fabiola Zelaya Melicher, the Thousand Oaks deputy community development director.

The entire Janss Marketplace property is approximately 38 acres, meaning about 1,000 residential units could be built there under the general plan. Melicher said more units could potentially be built if they meet the state’s definition of affordable.

Housing is being added to other malls across the U.S., reviving neighborhoods and creating economic opportunities, said Stephanie Cegielski, vice president of research and public relations at the International Council of Shopping Centers, a trade association.

One California example is The Market Place in Tustin, she said, where several large, former stores are being replaced with almost 1,300 apartments.

Sigal doesn’t yet know how many units would ultimately be built at Janss Marketplace, but said they would likely be constructed in phases over time.

The company has kept the former Burlington Coat Factory building vacant in anticipation of tearing it down and replacing it with residential units, from one to three bedrooms, for rent or sale.

“Thousand Oaks has a real shortage of housing, especially for young people,” Sigal said.

The hotel project approved in November will bring a 216-room Homewood Suites and Home2 Suites by Hilton Hotel to the property. A bowling alley will open soon at the mall’s Sunset Terrace Restaurant & Lounge.

“Janss Marketplace has been going through a transformation for some time,” Sigal said. 

The mall offers a range of stores, services and entertainment including an outdoor summer concert series and Regal Cinemas along with Gold’s Gym, the Sky Zone Trampoline Park, axe-throwing venue The Mighty Axe and a range of restaurants.

Even before any expansion, Janss Marketplace is doing well, Sigal said.

“Last year we had about 3.5 million customers,” he said.

Article by Dave Mason for the Ventura County Star

Read the original article here: https://www.vcstar.com/story/news/local/2024/01/04/janss-marketplace-considers-plans-for-housing-and-more/72043455007/