It’s probably a sad ending for lovers of independent films, but a plus for people who enjoy high-end style with a bit of a discount.
In fall 2016, Nordstrom Rack is scheduled to open its fifth location in San Diego County, this time as a tenant in the same strip mall as the Whole Foods Market in La Jolla.
The move marks the end of the four-screen Landmark Theater, which showed mostly fine-arts movies. The theater’s limited amenities and non-stadium seating were overshadowed by two upscale movie houses recently opened in the same neighborhood.
The Shops at La Jolla Village, on 8801 Villa La Jolla Drive, about a block from UC San Diego, received approval from the city of San Diego this month to demolish about 38,397 square feet of existing stores and some apartments, then construct a 32,000 square-foot and two 6,000-square-foot commercial buildings. It’s the first significant renovation for the center since 1990.
“Our new Rack at The Shops at La Jolla Village will offer an additional way to shop for the Nordstrom brands our customers love at great prices,” Geevy Thomas, president of Nordstrom Rack, said in a statement. “San Diego has been a great home to us for many years and our new store will help us more conveniently serve those in North County.”
Also departing are B.J.’s Pizza and TGI Fridays. Elijah’s Deli, another tenant there, already moved to Kearny Mesa this year.
Plans for expanding the Shops at La Jolla Village also call for adding parking spaces, among other changes, said mall spokesman Chris Wahl said.
“With the addition of a Nordstrom Rack, this is an excellent opportunity to make additional improvements,” he said. “Retail is dynamic in nature and must evolve to respond to current market demands for products and services.”
Landmark operates Hillcrest Cinema and the Ken Theater in Kensington as well. The manager who answered the phone at the La Jolla theater Friday declined to disclose when the venue will close. She deferred questions to a spokesperson, who did not immediately return a request for comment.
Gary London, president of London Group Realty Advisors, said the Landmark Theater wasn’t going to cut it for attracting today’s consumer.
“It’s hard to rely any longer on a theatre as an ‘anchor’ for a shopping center, and that was essentially its function at this one, as a bookend anchor with Whole Foods,” he said in an email. “Nordstrom Rack is a true anchor which will draw many patrons, who will shop at the other stores and eat at the restaurants. And even though it is a ‘discounter,’ most of its consumers are upscale, and it will fit in well in this market.”
Construction work at the shopping center is expected to begin in August.
This is the third major upgrade to a shopping center in the UTC area in recent memory.
At La Jolla Village Square, across the street from the Shops at La Jolla Village, the AMC 12 movie theater was reconfigured in 2013 with larger, reclining seats and a bar area. The mostly indoor mall is slated to be site of a trolley stop as part of plans for the San Diego Association of Governments to expand the line to University City. The trolley has earned key approvals but is still seeking federal funding.
Westfield UTC, about a mile east and home to a Nordstrom, underwent a $180 million remodel that began in 2011, the first of a multi-phase project that includes a luxurious Arclight movie theater. That mall is also poised to be site of a trolley stop.