MainPlace Mall (previously Westfield MainPlace) is a shopping mall located on the outskirts of Santa Ana, California, near the City of Orange and the Orange Crush junction of the Santa Ana, Garden Grove, and Orange freeways. JCPenney, 24 Hour Fitness, Ashley HomeStore, Round 1 Entertainment, DXL Mens Apparel, and Macy’s are the anchor retailers. There is one vacant anchor store, which was formerly Nordstrom.
MainPlace Mall was developed on the site of Bullock’s Fashion Square, a considerably smaller open-air center opened by the Los Angeles-based department store Bullock’s in 1958. Bullock’s spent $11.5 million to develop the complex, which was designed by Pereira & Luckman, a well-known architect in the area. Bullock’s Fashion Square launched with 32 retailers, including I. Magnin, Desmond’s, Haggarty’s, and Mandel’s boutiques, as well as the Jolly Roger restaurant. According to the Los Angeles Times, there was enough parking for 3000 cars, and the first day drew 40,000 visitors from all around Orange County. The site was renamed Santa Ana Fashion Square after Bullock’s developed similar Fashion Square malls in other Southern California locations.
Transition to MainPlace
Following a period of decline, JMB Property dismantled the majority of the shopping mall, except for the anchors, and rebuilt it with MainPlace in 1987. Bullock’s chose to stay, however I. Magnin chose not to stay and therefore closed on February 14, 1987. When MainPlace first opened, the anchors were Bullock’s, Nordstrom, and J.W. Robinson’s. A new wing opened in November 1990, with May Company California becoming the mall’s fourth anchor shop in May 1991. Robinson’s combined with May Company in January 1993 to form Robinsons-May. As a result, the original May Company store closed and reopened as the Robinsons-May Women’s & Children’s store, while the original J.W. Robinson’s store closed and reopened as the Robinsons-May Men’s & Home store. In May 1996, the Bullock’s was renamed Macy’s.
JMB Urban, JMB’s successor, sold MainPlace and other mall properties to Rodamco’s American affiliate in 2000. In turn, Rodamco sold its North American assets to Westfield Group in 2002. The mall was renamed Westfield Shoppingtown MainPlace after the acquisition, and the “Shoppingtown” designation was eliminated in 2005.
The Robinsons-May Women and Children’s store closed in September 2006 as a result of the chain being acquired by Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s, while the Robinsons-May Men’s & Home store stayed open but became the Macy’s Men’s and Home store. JCPenney opened in the vacant Robinsons-May Women’s & Children’s shop in March 2007.
In 2006, Westfield Group attempted to renovate the mall in response to the mall’s loss of local retail market share to South Coast Plaza, California’s largest and busiest mall, only 6.5 miles (10.5 km) to the south.
Westfield announced a $50 million mall refurbishment in 2014.
In 2012, Macy’s closed its Men’s & Home Store in the mall and merged both merchandise categories into the main store. The former J.W. Robinson’s store has been divided into 24 Hour Fitness, Ashley Furniture Home Store, and an entertainment center. Westfield sold the mall in December 2015 to a consortium led by Centennial Real Estate Company and including Montgomery Street Partners and USAA Real Estate Company.
Nordstrom, a mainstay since MainPlace’s inception in September 1987, closed in 2017.
Next Point of Interest: Downtown Santa Ana