Looking at the Shoppes at Westlake Village

The population of Westlake Village spoke out about what they wanted in a new shopping center, the Shoppes at Westlake Village and they got it. The construction of the shopping center, which has been going on for months, is finally coming to an end, according to Lee and Associates President, Mike Tingus.

Lee and Associates was the broker for the construction of the Shoppes. Tingus explained that Westlake Village residents voted on which restaurants and retail stores they wanted to see, so the shopping center would satisfy the unique needs of the community.

“We did a community outreach. We went to third-parties and asked them to do a survey of the residents to find out what they wanted to see [in the shopping center],” Tingus said.

Tingus also explained they found out what the community did not want to see in the shopping center.

“They didn’t want to see traditional McDonalds, Jack-in- the Box, Carl’s Jr. restaurants,” Tingus said.

Tingus said In-N-Out burger was the restaurant the community requested the most. The In-N-Out requests though brought up a problem that is unique to Westlake Village. In Westlake, fast food restaurants are typically not allowed a drive-thru.

“[In-N-Out burger] presented some issues because drive-thrus are not allowed in Westlake Village. But of course you can always get variances and you have to go through the hoops to get those, make sure you limit traffic, etc.” Tingus said.

Passers-by may have noticed the signs on the freeway-facing side of the shopping center are all painted in muted colors in place of the traditional color scheme the company would normally use. Target for example, agreed to ditch their signature red bull’s-eye insignia, for a more neutral brown bull’s-eye. Tingus said this is the first time Target has ever strayed from the original sign. In-N-Out’s usual red and yellow sign is also in a brown color.

“My understanding was that [the muted color scheme] was the agreement In-N-Out and Target came up with with the Westlake City Council,” said Sean Micucci, a manager for the Westlake Village Target store. Although the color scheme is different for establishments like Target and In-N-Out who typically use bold colors, Micucci said that he expects everything will be the same as any other [Target] store.

Russell Stockard, a professor of communications at California Lutheran University, said while the colors are muted, he does not worry about people being able to recognize the brand that is Target.

“I think the advertising is what drives people to Target… that’s where the business really is,” Stockard said.

He said he thinks in terms of advertising, Target’s red bull’s-eye “serves more as a security blanket” than a way to get people into the store.

In terms of muted colors causing an issue for big-name establishments, Stockard is on the same page as Micucci.

“I think if you live in the area you know it’s there because you read about it in The Acorn or you read about it other places, or you hear by word of mouth that there’s a shopping center going in that is anchored by Target,” Stockard said.

Thus far it seems that the Shoppes are well on their way to being a thriving community retail center. Tingus said that the shopping center is a reflection of what the community wanted.

“We worked really hard on marketing to try to identify and find the right types of tenants,” Tingus said.

Tingus said that everyone he has spoken to so far has been happy with the Shoppes.

“I think that everybody is very pleased. I know all the people that are occupying the office buildings around there are really pleased. They don’t have to get in their cars and drive to get lunch any more. They can walk around, go get coffee [and] that’s been really good,” Tingus said.

 

Rachael Maurer

Published November 19, 2014