Westfield Vancouver mall reveals plans for remodel

Project to complement Cinetopia's proposed 24-screen mall theater




Westfield Vancouver mall on Thursday announced plans to revive the 32-year-old shopping center with a multimillion-dollar face-lift that will coincide with Cinetopia’s arrival.

Cinetopia, the Vancouver living-room-style theater company, announced in August that it would build a 24-screen food-and-films complex at the mall. The full shopping center remodel is expected to begin in January.

The renovation will include improvements to the mall entrances and a complete interior remodel of the 950,000-square-foot space. It will get new flooring, glass handrails and recessed lighting. Soft seating will replace the mall’s hard wooden benches. Mall management also plans to create a new children’s play area, add more public restrooms and make upgrades to the existing restrooms.

Mall officials hope the upgrades and Cinetopia’s arrival will attract a wider selection of trend-setting retailers.

“This type of investment provides a new look, new energy and a new opportunity to keep up with retailer demand,” said Paige Allen, the mall’s general manager.

The 24-screen movie complex is expected to open in November 2011, said Rudyard Coltman, owner of Cinetopia LLC, which owns and operates two Cinetopia developments. The company’s flagship eight-screen complex opened in Vancouver five years ago at 11700 S.E. Seventh St. A second, 12-screen Cinetopia is expected to open in the summer of 2011 as part of a shopping center called Progress Ridge in Beaverton, Ore.

Coltman said he expected to jointly finance Cinetopia’s mall project with the shopping center’s owner, The Westfield Group, an Australian company with a global portfolio of 119 shopping malls in the United States, Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom.

Coltman had said Cinetopia’s portion of the project would cost more than $10 million. But the total cost of the mall renovation has not been determined, said Jessica Curtis, the mall’s director of marketing.

Westfield Vancouver mall, originally opened in 1978 as Vancouver Mall. The center has not been remodeled since the 1990s. It is Clark County’s largest indoor shopping arena, located off state Highway 500 and Interstate 205.

Westfield’s plans resurrect elements of an earlier proposal to add a movie theater and expand the mall.