Few shopping centres can claim a history as rich and as colourful as Westfield Century City, which can be found on Santa Monica Boulevard in Los Angeles, California, U.S.A. Steeped in Hollywood history, it is just minutes away from Hollywood itself and is directly neighboured by many major entertainment industry offices.
Originally ranch land, today’s Westfield Century City was acquired by Fox Films studios in 1928. Following the creation of 20th Century Fox in 1935, the studio and backlots located between Santa Monica and Pico Boulevards welcomed stars like Shirley Temple, Tyrone Power and Marilyn Monroe. At this site, the filming took place for such classics as The Grapes of Wrath, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn and Miracle on 34th Street.
In the early 1960s, 260 backlot acres were sold, creating the futuristic Century City office, retail and residential development. When the Century City shopping centre opened in 1964, it set a new standard for shopping in greater Los Angeles. Originally anchored by Bullock’s and The Broadway department stores, the centre now and in its past offered customers upscale shopping in a quintessentially Southern California outdoor environment. Westfield acquired the centre in 2002.
Now, Westfield Century City is receiving a USD1bn makeover.
An L.A. escape like no other
Amid acres of open space and outdoor landscaped plazas, visitors to the new Westfield Century City will discover many of fashion’s most on-trend brands, award-winning chefs and culinary experiences, headlining events and entertainment, as well as multifaceted health amenities, art and cultural programming – all in one place.
Creatively designed in collaboration with acclaimed L.A.-based design powerhouse Kelly Wearstler, Westfield Century City is easy to navigate, walkable and relaxing. Intimate alfresco dining promenades, secluded lounges and private cabanas are nestled alongside quiet walkways and gardens, beautifully landscaped with native trees and plants. Shaded wood-screened trellises and a canopy of olive and palm trees throughout the centre complement a grand outdoor entertainment venue and Atrium – a new location for cultural programming on the Westside of LA.
Explore the very best of L.A. all in one place
The vision for Westfield Century City is to be a place to visit any time of day, every day – for everything from a morning workout, afternoon juice and visit to the spa, to an evening out to enjoy dinner and a movie or a concert. It is designed to be the perfect setting to socialise and shop with family and friends, or simply unwind and relax with a glass of wine.
Century City’s exceptional line-up of over 200-plus shops, restaurants and amenities begins with the West Coast’s first Eataly, a new three-level Nordstrom, a completely remodeled three-level Bloomingdale’s, a modern new two-level Macy’s and a luxurious Equinox fitness club and spa.
From emerging local labels to timeless global brands, more than 200 shops and restaurants are part of the destination’s line-up. New, recent and upcoming openings include: All Saints, Apple, Aritzia, Bailey 44, Bonobos, Chan Luu, Cole Haan, Current/Elliott, Equipment, Hugo Boss, John Hardy, John Varvatos, J. Crew, Journelle, Jo Malone London, Joie, Kate Spade New York, Kendra Scott, Lululemon Athletica, Maje, Oak + Fort, Penhaligon’s, R.M. Williams, Rodd & Gunn, Sandro, Suitsupply, Ted Baker, Tesla, Tiffany & Co., Travis Mathew, Uno de 50, UNTUCKit, Urban Decay, Warby Parker, Zadig & Voltaire, and Zara.
Century City also includes over 100m² of pop-up space allowing Westfield to curate and showcase emerging brands across the fashion,beauty and lifestyle categories. With its totally customisable layout, the pop-up enables any brand to fully tailor the space to its particular needs and specifications, thus ensuring that product lines are represented authentically. At the same time, an emphasis on health and wellness broadens the Century City experience beyond just traditional shopping. In addition to the luxurious Equinox fitness club and spa which opened in 2017 – new health amenities include a sumptuous Caudalie Paris spa, a UCLA Health Clinic, the Gloveworx boxing and athletic performance studio, and Forward – a membership-based, full-service doctor’s office. Openings in 2018 will include the cutting-edge cryotherapy clinic Next Health.
A new destination for L.A. foodies
Food will take centre stage at the new Westfield Century City, with the completion of a fashionable new urban dining district that combines chef-driven gourmet restaurants, open-air cafés, innovative street food concepts, fresh food marketplaces, and rooftop wine and cocktail bars. On the property’s casually elegant, outdoor restaurant promenades, visitors can dine under the stars, relax in sleek open-air lounges set amidst trees and native plants, or have a drink alongside modern fire pits and water features.
The line-up of culinary wonders leads with the US West Coast’s first Eataly, which may very well become L.A.’s most social food destination – offering communal seating, fresh food counters, cafés, markets, classes and events all focused on the rigorous preservation and application of classic Italian recipes and cooking techniques. Century City’s new, recent, and soon-to-open restaurants also include: Din Tai Fung, the firstever Taiwanese restaurant to receive a Michelin Star and famous around the world for its one-of-a-kind soup dumplings; Javier’s authentic and elevated Mexican cuisine serving “tree-to-table” heirloom family recipes; Shake Shack, which brings a cult following devoted to its signature roadside burgers, hot dogs, frozen custard and shakes; The Crack Shack and its crazily popular, locally sourced Jidori Chicken; Petros, lauded as perhaps “LA’s most elegant Greek restaurant”; Tender Greens’ fresh and healthy fare; as well as the yet unnamed restaurant to be opened by renowned chef Jonathan Waxman.
Additional new food and restaurant highlights include Aloha Poke Co., Asian Box, Big Fish Little Fish, Spice Affair, Chick-Fil-A, Everytable, Mezza Garden, Panini Kabob Grill, Randy’s Donuts, Saint Marc, Tocaya Organica, Tosai Sushi and Wexler’s Deli.
The essence of Southern California living
The makeover of Westfield Century City creates an open-air garden retreat – designed in collaboration with global tastemaker and L.A. resident Kelly Wearstler – that speaks to the unique heritage and lifestyle of Los Angeles. The mid-century modern style – developed in Southern California during the 1950s – serves as an inspiration throughout the property, which features custom-designed solid teak furniture, linear and flowing white architecture as well as lattices that dapple light. This design aesthetic is strongly present in the property’s exteriors as well, where floating planes of floor-to-ceiling glass blur the boundaries between inside and outside, creating a grand sense of arrival around the centre.
Once inside, customers enjoy layers of courtyards that pay homage to the Mediterranean climate, with reflecting pools and Moroccan-inspired tiles, as well as art, ceramic and sculptural pieces specially commissioned for the property. At the heart of Century City sits the Atrium, a grand space for events that also serves as the property’s living room, with eclectic tables and chairs, long communal tables and pop-up displays. It’s the perfect setting to enjoy an afternoon cocktail or order a bite right from your phone as you sit at an outdoor table or shaded cabana.
Designed with the pedestrian in mind, the entire property is easy and intuitive to walk through – connected by beautifully landscaped, park-like zones. In these gardens, a series of intimate seating areas evoke the feeling of lounging poolside or gathering in the intimacy of a backyard, decorated with custom-designed tile patterns, shaded by wood-screened trellises, and dotted with olive trees and aloe plants.
The next L.A entertainment destination
The main event space, the Atrium, is designed to be the hotspot for events on the Westside. Just a few minutes from Hollywood and steps away from many of the entertainment industry’s principal offices and studios, Century City is positioned to become the natural hotspot for events and performances on the Westside. The destination has been designed from the ground-up to accommodate performances, concerts, food festivals, movie premieres and film screenings, fashion shows and charity events; everything from large-scale ticketed events hosting thousands of guests to intimate and exclusive cocktail parties for VIPs and show business insiders.
This new state-of-the-art events infrastructure is unprecedented for a retail destination and speaks to the Westfield’s strategy to integrate these capabilities in flagship destinations from London and Milan to New York and Los Angeles. The destination is equipped with seamlessly integrated lighting, sound, staging and back-of-house facilities able to accommodate the most demanding needs, without interrupting the shopping journey for customers or affecting normal business operations for retailers. The property’s main event space, the Atrium, features a 43-foot wood trellis that provides shade from the sun. A VIP area provides opportunities for special sponsor seating and celebrity meet-and-greets, while a tower and a bridge that traverses the space can be used for special pop-up events and live broadcasts. This bold new vision for events is being led by Grammy, Emmy and Tony award-winning Broadway, film and television producer Scott Sanders, Westfield’s new Creative Head of Global Entertainment. As he re-imagines the possibilities of events across the company’s portfolio, Sanders is drawing on his experience producing musicals like “The Color Purple,” internationally televised events like the Super Bowl halftime show and the programming of Radio City Music Hall, which he is widely credited with reinventing with great success.
An abiding commitment to art and culture
As part of an ongoing commitment to make Century City the perfect canvas on which to showcase the work of world-renowned, local and emerging artists, Westfield is embarking on an effort to bring the best of LA’s creative community into the centre to create dynamic pieces and experiences for the community to enjoy. Through new cultural partnerships, community-based arts programs and commissions, the property is designed to infuse the urban cityscape with ebullient colour, warmth, wonder and joy.
For example, Westfield and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) have announced the formation of a new multi-year partnership that will allow Westfield to exhibit select pieces from the museum on a long-term basis at Century City. To be unveiled first will be three dramatic sculptures: Woods Davy’s Toluca; Jene Highstein’s Eolith I; and Michael Todd’s Daimaru XI. The sculptures will be on permanent display within some of the property’s most prominent locations, with additions to the collection being announced at a later date.
Westfield Century City also showcases artistic work that includes “California DNA” created by the renowned ceramics sculptor, Stan Bitters, in partnership with the City of Los Angeles’ Department of Cultural Affairs; as well as a new partnership with The Annenberg Space for Photography to exhibit vivid new photography created by the talented local team of Julia Galdo and Cody Cloud — collectively known as JUCO. The centre also features large-scale, monumental dango (Japanese for “rounded form”) sculptures created by the innovative Japanese-American artist, Jun Kaneko. This installation was also made possible by a partnership with LA’s Department of Cultural Affairs.
grating new technologies
Westfield serves its retailers, brands and consumers with dynamic, technology-driven solutions. From world-class event capabilities to a state-of-the-art digital media network, Westfield is creating connections in new and unprecedented ways.
Interwoven into the Century City environment is a network of cutting-edge digital media screens allowing for category-exclusive advertising for Westfield’s retailers and brand partners as well as for live broadcasts of programming, events and entertainment occurring on the property or anywhere across Westfield’s global portfolio. In addition to two 100-foot large-format and high impact, digital media screens installed at Century City, Westfield’s Brand Ventures division has rolled out 39 cutting-edge, eye-level 75-inch screens throughout the destination. Using a suite of proprietary technologies, the new Westfield Network provides brands with the ability to customise out-of-home advertisements in real-time and deliver unprecedented audience measurement capabilities.
Furthermore, Westfield’s integrated venue and event capabilities can provide retailer and brand partners incredible platforms for staging brand activations and new product line launches; unique showrooms or pop-up experiences for product sampling and brand engagement; the hosting of high profile events, entertainment, and festivals; and of course, monumental digital advertising across Westfield’s entire global portfolio of flagship properties.
New studio services for the entertainment industry Westfield Century City has announced a suite of new studio services allowing the city’s film, television and music industries to easily fulfill their wardrobe, styling and shopping needs. While many companies in the fashion and retail sectors focus just on celebrity styling, Westfield is delivering a broader offering that capitalises on the huge volume of fashion buying that exists across all facets of the entertainment industry in Los Angeles – from purchasing wardrobes for TV and film to photoshoots for consumer and trade advertising campaigns.
To meet this need, Westfield Century City will become a dedicated “home base” for stylists and costume designers, partnering with the property’s retailers to provide required merchandise. At the same time, Westfield will offer these clients a variety of services including assistance with space onsite to co-ordinate buying, VIP or green rooms for fittings, personal shopping services, tailoring, shipping and other logistics services. The team can even make dinner reservations if needed or co-ordinate cars for transport to and from the centre. To bring these concierge-level services directly to industry costume designers and wardrobe departments, Westfield has also announced the formation of a new partnership with the CDGA (Costume Designers’ Guild Awards), which honours and supports the Costume Designers’Guild (CDG). Westfield will be working with the CDGA to promote Century City’s Studio Services to CDG members – who will also have access to the centre’s special Studio Services phone line and staff dedicated to servicing their needs at the centre.
“We are tremendously excited to set a new standard in the services offered to the entertainment industry,” says Heather Vandenberghe, Westfield’s Chief Marketing Officer in the United States. “Westfield Century City continues to position itself as the definitive ‘go to’ for the city’s entertainment and fashion clientele, while also driving business for our retailers and creating broader opportunities for the brands that make their home at Century City.”
Service with style
Century City has adopted the newest guest services initiative from Westfield called “Service with Style”, which is informed by the same level of professional customer service provided by the world’s finest hotels and luxury resorts. Created with consultants from LRA by Deloitte and SGE International – the acclaimed hospitality specialists responsible for designing guest experience programs for a host of luxury and consumer brands including Ritz-Carlton, St Regis, Waldorf Astoria New York, W Hotels and BMW – the programme begins with intensive training for all of Westfield’s customer facing employees, including concierge staff, brand ambassadors, centre management representatives, valet attendants, security officers and housekeeping personnel. Upon completing initial training over a period of two to three months, staff members are expected to hone their customer service skills on an ongoing basis in consultation with a dedicated coach who will be permanently based at each Westfield property.
The platform is designed to create a consistent customer service standard at all 33 Westfield properties in the United States and also includes a suite of services available at ten of Westfield’s most prestigious flagship destinations in markets. At these centres, enhanced concierge services include:
- One-on-one personal styling and personal shopping services.
- Package check and delivery – concierge staff hold your shopping bags at the Westfield Concierge Desk or deliver them to your vehicle or even to your home.
- “Store to Door” product purchase - customers can call or text concierge staff to request the purchase of a certain item and have it delivered to your door.
- “Return Bars” in partnership with a company called Happy Returns, purchases made from selected digitally-native brands and retailers such as Everlane and Eloquii can be returned to Westfield concierge staff.
- Foreign language translation services – live access to interpreters fluent in more than 50 languages.
- Smart parking and reserved parking – you can reserve your own private parking space available to no one else but you, or can pay for a parking space with the Westfield app and never have to take a parking ticket, wait in line to pay, or wait in line to leave.
- Restaurant and other entertainment reservations.
- Assistance with ticketing for local events and attractions.
Making parking “smarter” than ever before
Westfield Century City has been introducing a suite of new services aimed at improving the parking experience – beginning with a doubling of overall parking capacity (now at nearly 5,000 spaces) as well as the very popular ‘park assist technology’ – a simple, easy-to-understand system of red and green lights that leads drivers directly to the first available open space. At the same time, Westfield has also launched two new technology-driven services – its Smart Parking and Reserved Parking.
Smart Parking is an opt-in service that makes parking 100% digital, 100% ticketless, and 100% hassle-free. Similar to systems which are gaining popularity in South Africa, with a Smart Parking account, a visitor’s license plate number is recognised upon entering or exiting the Century City property. Instead of paying at a station or paying an attendant – the standard parking rate is automatically charged to the credit card registered on the user’s account (with a receipt e-mailed as well). There are no additional surcharges applied. Encouraging visitors to use this service, the mall initially offered a 50% discount on parking charges paid in this way.
Westfield Century City has also introduced an amenity called Reserved Parking, which adds an exclusive VIP experience available to only 50 guests at a time on a first-come, first-served basis. It allows visitors to book their own private parking space located within a gated and secure environment inaccessible to anyone else. With Reserved Parking, there is no longer any need to search for an empty parking space; you know exactly where your reserved space is and no-one else can use it. A digital screen located above your personalised space is activated to clearly identify that the space belongs only to you. To activate this service, a flat fee of USD20 is charged for the first four hours with an additional fee of USD5 for each 30 minutes thereafter.
Partnering with Uber
Westfield Corporation and Uber have announced a new national, multi-faceted partnership in the USA that includes a variety of customer services and benefits designed to make shopping at a Westfield centre more convenient and enjoyable. Westfield will host designated drop-off and pickup stations for Uber vehicles, not just at Century City but at every one of its shopping centres in the United States.
The Uber stations at Westfield Century City will include prominent visibility, accessibility and signage – similar to dedicated taxi stands or ridesharing pick-up points at large entertainment and transportation venues. Westfield will also digitally map these locations onto Uber’s rider application. That means that anyone requesting a ride with Uber will be able to quickly identify where they should get picked up and dropped off when travelling to and from the shopping centre.
The deal also includes the introduction of Westfield’s first permanent Uber Lounge at Century City featuring ultra-modern design, sleek seating and unexpected customer amenities allowing customers to wait for their Uber in style.