Parent company Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield said in a statement: “Like so many businesses, 2020 was a year like no other in Westfield’s history. Westfield moved quickly to adapt to the realities created by a global pandemic and the accelerated consumer trends for the retail industry. Part of this evolution is our strategic decision to bring to a close development plans for the Patios Connection Plan at the Valencia Town Center, which included a Costco. While this plan has come to a close, our commitment to Valencia Town Center continues.”
The company announced the Patios Connection project in 2019 with an estimated cost of $100 million. With that plan nixed, Westfield officials added that they intend to pursue other mixed-use development on the Town Center property.
“Westfield is committed to working with the city through their new specific plan process and look to continue to be a partner in the future growth and evolution of the city and its residents,” the company said in a statement.
Santa Clarita Mayor Bill Miranda told the Santa Clarita Signal that he was dismayed by news of Patios’ termination because the city had invested months of planning into the project, which city officials thought was still advancing.
“I’m extremely disappointed because it was just recently that they downsized the project a little bit and gave us no indication whatsoever that they were going to discontinue the project,” Miranda said. “Our community is going to be disappointed. We were (expecting) a Costco on this side of town.”
The city’s Planning and Economic Development Manager Jason Crawford said Westfield informed the city of the project’s cancellation on Monday.
“We know our residents would still love to see a second Costco location in Santa Clarita and we will continue to work with Costco to identify locations and opportunities,” Crawford said in an email to the Business Journal.
The Patios’ cancellation may have some connection to an announcement made at a February shareholders meeting, where URW reported that earnings were down by about 40 percent and that URW plans to sell its major U.S. properties by 2022, as the Business Journal reported earlier this year.
“We are assessing all potential options. At the end of the day, exposure to the U.S. will be minimal, if not zero,” Chief Executive Officer Jean-Marie Tritant said during a February press conference.
The reason for the wait on selling larger properties is to give the market some time to rebound from the pandemic, Tritant said, telling reporters there was “no investment market in 2021.”