Westlake Plaza’s Renovation–Upscale Eateries and Oak Tree removals

By Daniel Gelman

billboardsWestlake Plaza,(anchored by Sprouts Market), and the adjacent Gelsons and Vons shopping centers are undergoing extensive renovation construction. This is the town’s original shopping area developed in the late 1960’s at the corner of Westlake Blvd. and Agoura Rd. on the Ventura County side of town. Officially, it is in the City of Thousand Oaks. The plaza is known for its’ modest Spanish Mediterranean motif, independent boutiques and shops, and sprawling old oak trees.

For the most part over the years, it has retained the look and feel it had in the early 1970’s. No doubt the plethora of name brand businesses and substantial landscaping choices will alter that to a degree. According to the new tenant handbook published by Owners/Property Managers Regency Centers, the new look will be an “updated” version of the original.

The project will overhaul building facades, add more parking, and update building lighting, landscaping, signage, and infrastructure. It will attempt to enhance gathering areas and walkability too. “The casual elegance of the Early California architectural theme will be preserved and updated through the use of higher-end finishes, amenities, and environmentally efficient upgrades.”

jacks.deli

Jack’s Deli to be replaced by Mendocino Farms Sandwich Shop

Mendocino Farms Sandwich Market will occupy the space formerly held by the independent Jack’s Deli, which closed down a few years ago after more than 30 years in service. Pitfire Pizza will come in the space behind them. Total Woman, a large fitness center next to the old deli space will move to the new Target Center coming later this year near Russell Ranch Road and Albertsons.   

Perhaps the most significant change will be a new freestanding building in the parking lot behind Westlake Plaza en route to Gelsons. It will contain Le Pain Quotidien (“Our Daily Bread”), an organic French bakery restaurant concept, Pressed Juicery, and Ice Cream Lab.

Some mature oak trees had to be removed due to fungus, root rot, and bees.“Yes, we are removing some of the trees. You can be sure we have not made this decision lightly. We too have a deep appreciation and love for these trees. We worked closely with the City of Thousand Oaks to prepare a comprehensive landscape and tree replacement plan, including the installation of new specimen trees,” says the tenant guide.

Plot Map of Shopping Center

Plot Map of Shopping Center

The iconic oak tree in the center courtyard area in front of Natural Café and Galleto Restaurant was removed. According to Regency Centers VP Patrick Conway, the space will be replaced by a raised deck with rectangular waterfall and gas fire pit feature. Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf will also get its’ own fire pit. The independent Sea Casa will stay where it is and get an updated patio area. Conway said they only removed one “native” oak tree, which was in the Vons parking lot. “The rest were owner-planted,” he added.

He also said that the goal is to “brand” the three plazas as one entity, to encourage a sense of “connectivity.” One long term employee of a plaza business remarked that it will be even more upscale and will probably not attract the working class Latino population of Old Town Thousand Oaks in the Hampshire corridor. But he added that the plaza had always served the upper middle class neighborhoods in the immediate vicinity.

A few locals who came to Westlake in the early days lamented the change based on nostalgia and emotion, but they agreed that a facelift was inevitable and needed. “We were losing some competitive advantage from competition with the Promenade and the new Target Center,” said Conway. The project is being built in phases with a Grand Opening expected by the end of this year.

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Daniel Gelman has been a Reporter/Writer for several years, specializing in News, Business, Feature, and Op-Ed.

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One Response to Westlake Plaza’s Renovation–Upscale Eateries and Oak Tree removals

  1. Deborah Goodman April 13, 2019 at 1:45 pm

    Shame on you. That Oak tree was one of the most beautiful parts of that center, and the reason I will not shop there anymore. You’ll never get away with that again. Not that you care.

    Reply

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