Fox Hills mall Undergoes Major Expansion

IMG_1739The old Fox Hills mall in Culver City, where I have been many times, was a somewhat sleepy place.  Not any more.  In time for this past Christmas, the expanded and renamed Westfield Culver City shopping center unveiled itself to huge crowds.  The mall appears to be doubled in size, and now includes Target, Best Buy, H&M, Coach, BJ’s Restaurant & Brewhouse, Manna Korean Barbeque, and a completely redone food court, er, “dining terrace.”  And it now has room for key elements of any good shopping mall: a giant Christmas tree, and new cars on display.

Plenty of room for a huge Christmas tree ...
Plenty of room for a huge Christmas tree ...

I have been to the redone mall twice, once shortly before Christmas and once shortly after (what was I thinking?), and enjoyed the experience.  The crowds were considerable, and, while there were few or no spaces on the entire front side parking lot, there were plenty of spaces in the new parking deck at the rear, plus they added an underground parking garage.  The expanded interior is bright and airy, reminding me of an airport, with liberal use of steel and glass.  That seems fitting, since many airports now contain shopping malls.  I also liked the lounge-y furniture and surfaces (faux plywood?) that appear to be the product of some actual design thought.  The only minus grades I would give the mall are for the somewhat confusing layout of the escalators and existing walkways, and the narrow (existing) shape of the dining terrace, both of which could result in some bottlenecks.

... and cars!
... and cars!

I know, I know.  Some people tell us that shopping malls are evil, chain stores are evil, and we should buy everything from local businesses (presumably that means no iTunes or Amazon shopping either).  There are valid considerations behind such concerns, and we should be mindful of larger issues when we decide where and how to spend our consumer dollars.  But considering what the Fox Hills mall was, and what it was going to be anyway, I think they did a good job.  And speaking of jobs, the expanded Culver City mall must have added hundreds of them, between the construction companies and workers and the people who work at the new establishments there.

Welcome the Red Menace
Welcome the Red Menace
Pretty stylin' for a shopping mall
Pretty stylin' for a shopping mall
Dining terrace
Dining terrace
More mod, but still difficult not to call it a "food court"
More mod, but still difficult not to call it a "food court"
Retaining original narrow food court design can lead to crowds
Retaining original narrow food court design can lead to crowds

9 Replies to “Fox Hills mall Undergoes Major Expansion”

  1. I went there in October, right after it re-opened, and the parking was crazy. Their traffic directing people were hopeless–one guy waved me down a lane, then another guy further ahead told me to turn around and go back. Once I got in the garage, it wasn’t to hard to find a spot, you just have to get through the crowds on the lanes on the exterior, people looking for a spot right by the door.

  2. @Evan, it may be a little better than that now. I haven’t noticed anyone directing the cars outside, only a crossing guard for pedestrians (although I was there on weekdays, so the traffic directors may be there on weekends). But I agree that the parking and maneuvering situation out front is messy, and that it’s probably easier to avoid the front (off Slauson) and use the other entrances off Sepulveda, one which I think gives direct access to the garage and the other which provides access to the rear parking deck. Or to avoid the mall altogether if one doesn’t want the parking hassle.

  3. Its another Westfield Mall, catering to the lowest common denominator in the market place. Great post, but gads I detest the Westfield Mall strategy, been to one you’ve been to them all. It sucks the life right out of the small businesses in a community, which is why I am a big supporter of project 3/50.

    In short you pick 3 local businesses and spend $50 week there to support your community. In the process you keep small businesses alive and vibrant. I do this where I live and when I meander about LA, pick the small locally owned guy over a chain every chance I get. I’ve had some great adventures and service in the process. If there is a rare instance I have to be in a mall, I pick the locally owned business over the chain store where possible.

  4. I’ve lived near this mall for over 20 years, and it’s really such a delight now. I actually go there just to walk around and people-watch. The aesthetics are inviting, the food is global, and it has made shopping a delight.
    It’s about time, as the old Fox Hills Mall was a real dive, with stores that only appealed to a small group of people. They’ve expanded the appeal, and now there’s something for just about everyone.

    Hooray!

  5. Whatevs. If you are black and grew up in LA you know that fox hills was the spot. Westfield is crap. We all know that. But to me this is all about the changing demographics of culver city and catering to the white folks that have moved in to culver city over the last 5-10 years.

  6. My disappointment with the place is not really the fault of Westfield. The mall certainly has been injected with new and much-needed life. I’m just bummed that with all the reconfiguring of the section of Sepulveda that passes by it, the powers that be would have made the street a bit more friendly to pedestrians and cyclists, but nah: the car’s still king… especially in the shadows of the 405 and 90 freeways.

  7. Ramon while I agree that this mall is catering to a different demographic, in what century was Culver City anything but not white? The demographic of Culver City is changing from a working class white person to a more I guess the right term is “yuppie,” but Culver City from my experience growing up in LA in the 80s and 90s was always a white neighborhood.

    Culver City actually ethnically now is more diverse than it’s ever been, its more rich, but it’s now a rainbow of upper middle income people who do more art and professional kinds of things and less of a own a old fashioned second hand store shop, own a pizza join, fix a car kind of a person.

    Fox Hills mall was a black mall though. I didn’t even know that was Culver City. I thought that was Ladera Heights…this point is not me debating, clearly I was wrong, growing up in Hollywood area that area was always confusing to me. I went there with friends who lived in Ladera. I think the thing about that area that was unique about that area was that the black people in the past had more money than the white people in that area. Culver City, Mar Vista used to be working class white neighborhoods, so that mall catered to the upper middle income black people in Ladera, Baldwin Hills, Windsor Hills set, now that Culver City has become more filled with the kind of money they want now they want to go after that money.

    Browne

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