After adding a new Dining Terrace, more upscale retailers and restaurants, and a 16-screen luxury ArcLight Cinemas, the mall is making about $700 per square foot in sales, Agliata reported.
|Westfield's Jim Agliata|
Westfield isn't finished yet. Agliata said the center has 400,000 SF of approved addition space on the north side of the property. That was a major reason the mall moved the future Transit Center, now under construction, over to the I-270 Spur/Westlake Terrace corner of the property, he said.
Agliata said to expect that future structure to be oriented more to the outdoors than the existing indoor mall. He also said the mall is currently working to make the kiosks that populate its corridors more attractive. Current examples of that are the new Cleo's Oil Bar and Peet's Coffee and Tea.
The connectivity goals planners spoke about earlier in the evening for Rock Spring "needs to happen," Agliata said. Office parks near the mall are "a big driver for us."
Asked if he expected the mall to become transit-oriented, Agliata said Westfield would strongly support rail transit along I-270, and suggested the new site of the Transit Center would facilitate the mall as a logical station along such a route. But he said that would be a very expensive transportation project. Most mallgoers will continue to arrive by car, he said.
What is Westfield more optimistic about?
Agliata said his company has a 75-person division in San Francisco called Westfield Labs, which is not only working to improve the tech and WiFi experience at its malls, but is also preparing for autonomous vehicles.
He predicted the "mall of the future" would have a garage reserved for driverless cars, which would drop off patrons at the Valet Parking area, and then park themselves in that garage. "That'll happen someday. Ten years, maybe fifteen years," Agliata forecast.
One resident in the audience said, "malls are dying." "'A' malls are not dying," Agliata replied. "'B' malls and lesser malls are dying."