Changes at Westfield UTC
Westfield UTC has undergone significant changes in the past few years (see video from 2017 here). There have been over 20 new stores added during the $600 million renovation to the shopping center. Shoppers can now enjoy going to new clothing sellers, including Vineyard Vines, Marine Layer, Rodd & Gunn, Untuckit, and SuitSupply. There are several new jewelry and accessories stores, including Fossil, Kendra Scott, Swarovski, and Sundance. Home Furnishing and homeware retailers include Restoration Hardware, Pottery Barn, and Pirch. Room & Board are new additions to the mall as well.
Along with the new tenants of the mall, there are new areas with aesthetic updates. Landscaping will be complete with large olive trees and modern art chosen with the help of the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, as well as a new valet parking entrance off the La Jolla Village Drive.
There have also been some incredible restaurants added to the outdoor mall during this renovation. Great Maple opened a second location on the premises, bringing the popular modern American diner vibe to the mall. The location is a vibrant and upbeat location with a 1,500 square-foot patio. Larsen’s Steakhouse is opening a new location as well, it’s seventh restaurant nationwide. Flemming Larsen, owner of Larsen’s Steakhouse, told Times of San Diego, “The goal for us was to have first-class dining – to bring restaurants to San Diego that haven’t been here before.”
According to their website, by 2019 the property will include an upscale 23-story residential tower. Plus, UTC will also integrate a new regional transit center and San Diego trolley line station when the line expands into the La Jolla area.
While Westfield UTC has undergone significant changes, one with the potential to make a large impact on visitors is parking. They have already made several improvements to parking, with a brand new five-level parking structure constructed and technology that will help shoppers fine parking spots more easily using red and green lights. However, after 41 years, Westfield UTC will now start charging patrons for parking.
The mall will allow customers to park for free for two hours, after which parking will be $3 an hour. The max rate will be reached after five hours of parking, with a total of $15. According to Westfield, the decision was made to begin charging for parking after it was found that many people were parking at the mall but not shopping there. The company has hopes of implementing paying for parking a ticketless process.
Westfield conducted research that concluded about 85 percent of their shoppers stay for less than two hours, so they don’t believe charging for parking will negatively affect many people. Shoppers can also receive vouchers validating their parking if they visit places like Arclight Cinemas and 24 Hour Fitness, with other business to be added soon.