Bella Terra is a shopping mall located in Huntington Beach, California. It was built on the former Huntington Center site. Kohl’s, Burlington Coat Factory, Barnes & Noble, Cinemark Theaters, Whole Foods Market, and Costco Wholesale are the center’s current anchors.
Opening of the Huntington Center
The Huntington Center was Orange County’s first indoor, all-weather mall. It opened in 1966 for $20,000,000, with 55 businesses covering a total of 842,855 square feet (78,303.8 m2) of retail space on a 58-acre (23 ha) site with parking for 3,700 cars.
The center was anchored by a department store:
- The Broadway 2 stories, 150,000 square feet (14,000 m2) on a 12-acre (4.9 ha) lot, Charles Luckman and Associates, architects
- JCPenney 2 stories, 206,090 square feet (19,146 m2) plus a 20,000 square feet (1,900 m2) auto service center
- Montgomery Ward 2 stories, 168,900 square feet (15,690 m2) plus a 29,000 square feet (2,700 m2) auto service center on a 13.6-acre (5.5 ha) lot
- Barker Brothers a 2 story furniture store (built with the same architectural style as The Broadway) across the parking lot and an unenclosed strip of several shops adjacent.
Lerner’s, Judy’s, Harris & Frank, Leed’s, Kinney Shoes, Thom McAn, Security First National Bank, Crocker-Citizens National Bank Food Fair grocery, and Thrifty Drug Stores were also among the initial tenants.
- 1986: A new wing was completed, with Mervyn’s as its fourth anchor shop and a new food court opening in November.
- JCPenney closed in November 1993 and moved to Westminster Mall.
- Burlington Coat Factory took over JCPenney in 1995. Barnes & Noble moved into the long-vacant former Barker Bros. building in October.
- 1996: The Broadway closed in August as a result of the company being purchased and liquidated by Macy’s, and the wing between the closed As the mall’s economy began to decrease dramatically, the Broadway building and Burlington Coat Factory were closed and sealed off.
- Burlington Coat Factory sued mall owners in 2000, saying they are being “driven out” of the mall during its refurbishment.
- Montgomery Ward, the last original anchor store to close, closed in March 2001 due to liquidation.
- 2003: Mall closed, with the exception of Mervyn’s and Burlington Coat Factory, which closed shortly after. Except for Burlington Coat Factory, Mervyn’s, and the empty Montgomery Ward and The Broadway, the mall was destroyed shortly after.
Rebirth as Bella Terra
- Bella Terra and Kohl’s opened in the historic The Broadway building in 2006. The vacant Montgomery Ward building remained standing until it was demolished in 2010.
- Mervyn’s and Circuit City both shuttered in 2008, the former due to liquidation and the latter due to insolvency.
- Montgomery Ward and Mervyn’s buildings were demolished in 2010. Whole Foods Market has taken the place of Circuit City.
- In May of 2012, Costco opened its doors.
- On the site of the former Montgomery Ward, The Residences at Bella Terra, a 467-unit apartment complex with retail space on the ground level, debuted in 2013.
- In Bella Terra, new retailers such as Sephora, Hummus Republic, Fogo de Chao, Dog Haus, J.Crew, and Sender One opened in 2021.
Next Point of Interest: Huntington Beach International Surfing Museum