The former Sears department store at the Westfield Topanga shopping mall in Warner Center will be converted into new retail and restaurant options, announced owner Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield this week.

The long-vacant space - spanning approximately 160,000 square feet - is slated for a renovation which will create a triple-height entryway, making the complex more accessible and transparent from both Topanga Canyon and Victory Boulevards.  Additionally, plans call for improved pedestrian access to The Village at Westfield Topanga - which is located directly south across Victory Boulevard.

Among the new uses planned for the former Sears is a food hall, which would include sit-down restaurants, lounges, and bars.  This would be accompanied by plazas and other landscaped spaces.

Completion of the approximately $250-million project is anticipated in 2021. Swinerton has been tapped as the project's general contractor.

The investment in the Westfield Topanga mall comes five years after the completion of the $350-million Village complex, which includes more than 400,000 square feet of commercial space.

The renovation also sets the stage for the $1.5-billion Promenade 2035 development - which would rise roughly a half-mile south at the site of the struggling Westfield Promenade mall.  Plans call for the construction of multiple high-rise and low-rise buildings which would contain housing, office space, retail, hotel rooms, and a sports and entertainment complex.