Mission Valley
Mission Valley logo
Entrance from the Mission Valley Center trolley Station.
LocationSan Diego, California
Coordinates32°46′8″N 117°8′54″W / 32.76889°N 117.14833°W / 32.76889; -117.14833
Address1640 Camino Del Rio North, San Diego, CA 92108-1506
Opening dateFebruary 20, 1961; 63 years ago (February 20, 1961)
DeveloperMay Centers, Inc.
ManagementCentennial (Mission Valley East)
OwnerReal Capital Solutions
(Mission Valley East)
Sunbelt Investment Holdings Inc.
(Mission Valley West)
ArchitectDeems, Lewis, Martin & Associates
No. of stores and services100
No. of anchor tenants7 (6 open, 1 vacant)
Total retail floor area1,139,602 sq ft (105,872.5 m2)[1]
No. of floors1
Public transit accessMission Valley Center

Mission Valley (formerly known as Mission Valley Center, Westfield Shoppingtown Mission Valley, and Westfield Mission Valley) is a retail complex consisting of a traditional open-air shopping mall owned by Real Capital Solutions, and a power center owned by Sunbelt Investment Holdings Inc., in Mission Valley, San Diego. The Mission Valley East was managed by the Dallas-based Centennial. Anchor stores include Macy's Home Furniture, Michaels, Target, Bed Bath & Beyond, and Nordstrom Rack. There is 1 vacant anchor store that was once Macy's. The power center across Mission Center Road known as Mission Valley West is anchored by big box retailers like DSW Shoes, West Elm, Old Navy, Trader Joe's and Marshalls.[2]


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In early 1958, May Centers proposed rezoning 90 acres (360,000 m2) in the then sparsely-populated Mission Valley area of San Diego to build a shopping mall.[3] In June 1958, the San Diego City Council unanimously voted in favor of rezoning the 90 acres (360,000 m2) for the May plan.

Center Courtyard at Mission Valley Center
Center Courtyard at Mission Valley Center, 1961


By 1959, the mall was under construction, and completed in late 1960, with a grand opening on February 20, 1961. Designed by the San Diego-based architectural firm Deems-Lewis, the mall contained two large anchor spaces, occupied by Montgomery Ward, and May Company, 70 inline stores, as well as a large central courtyard. Due to its location in the floodplain of the San Diego River, the mall was designed with stores on the level above the parking garage. Presumably, in the event of a flood, only the parking garage would be flooded, with the retail level untouched. It was San Diego's second mall, following the opening of the College Grove Center in 1960.[citation needed] National General Theatres Valley Circle Theater, part of the Mission Valley West strip center, opened on December 23, 1966.[citation needed]


The mall underwent its first expansion in 1975, with the completion of a new 3-story Bullock's.[4]


In 1983, the mall underwent a significant remodel, with a new northeast wing built, which also added a two-story Saks Fifth Avenue.[5] This helped mitigate the effect of a Mexican economic crisis and peso devaluation, as Mexican customers, who were estimated to make up about 15% of sales, were able to obtain fewer dollars with their pesos and thus had less to spend.[6]


In 1993, May Company rebranded as Robinsons-May as the chain merged with J.W. Robinson's. Robinson's had a location at the nearby Fashion Valley Mall that also rebranded to that new name. Westfield Group acquired the mall a year later. Along with this acquisition, another major renovation of the mall was undertaken, with a new AMC Theatres 20-screen multiplex built atop the south parking lot.[7] The renovation project also retrofitted several new stores in existing space in the northeast wing, including Michaels, Nordstrom Rack, Loehmann's, and Bed Bath & Beyond. Additionally, a large central courtyard, originally constructed as a children's playground, was covered over to provide space for a Ruby's Diner. Around this time, Macy's acquired the Bullock's chain of department stores, which led to a rebranding of the Bullock's as a Macy's (later became a Macy's Home and Furniture store since chain replaced The Broadway a month later at the nearby Fashion Valley Mall, moving all fashion departments to that location).[citation needed] Borders Books & Music, Marshalls, DSW, The Good Guys, and Old Navy were added in 1995 in the adjacent power center.

Westfield Mission Valley in 2006 before being painted Gray in 2008.


In 2001, one of the mall's original tenants, Montgomery Ward, was shuttered when the chain went bankrupt. A year later, Target opened in the former Ward's space. The Good Guys closed in 2005, and it was replaced by Golfsmith a year later in the power center. In 2006, Macy's completed its acquisition of May Company, and the former Robinsons-May store was subsequently rebranded as Macy's.[8] In August 2008, Westfield Group applied for a major renovation to the Westfield Mission Valley shopping center. The project envisioned a 500,000 sq ft (46,000 m2) expansion of retail space for stores, 50,000 sq ft (4,600 m2) of commercial space, adjacent condominiums and parking. Real estate industry experts expect the project to be long-term, and development to last five to ten years. However, as of 2021 renovations proposed in 2008 have not been done to Westfield Mission Valley.[9]


In 2012 the Seau's restaurant closed after Junior Seau's death and was replaced by Buffalo Wild Wings in 2013.[10] Meanwhile, at the power center Borders Books & Music closed and was converted into Giant Book Sale under a short lease until 2012.[11] Trader Joe's and Ulta Beauty opened up in the former Borders Books & Music location in 2013.[12] In 2014 Loehmann's, liquidated their location and was replaced by a Bloomingdale's the outlet store and Tender Greens restaurant a year later in 2015. In late 2016 the indoor food court by Macy's Home and Furniture was shuttered, and a few months after that Sport Chalet had filed for bankruptcy and closed in 2016 as well. In 2017, Golfsmith was converted into a Golf Galaxy store. In March 2017, the Macy's closed as the chain closed 68 stores across the country.[13] The Macy's Home and Furniture store remains open at Mission Valley and a regular Macy's store remains open at nearby Fashion Valley Mall. In April 2018 Ruby's Diner, posted on their doors that they have closed their location at the center after being there for more than 20 years.[14] In 2018, Michaels moved into the former Sport Chalet space, taking over the part that faced the north parking lot. F21 Red (Forever 21's clearance store) also opened in the sub-divided former Sport Chalet location that year removing mall access to Michaels, but closed only a year after they had opened since they announced a restructuring of the company by closing 41 stores after filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy.[15]


In 2019, Westfield started the redevelopment of the former Michaels Arts & Crafts store, where the building was subdivided into main restaurants like Havana Grill, CAVA, Pesto Italian Craft Kitchen, and Mendocino Farms. This portion was completed in late 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic and has some geometric inspiration after the former May Company building.[16]

In July 2023, Westfield sold both Mission Valley shopping centers to the new owners for $290 million. Real Capital Solutions for Mission Valley East, and Sunbelt Investment Holdings Inc. for Mission Valley West. The new manager for Mission Valley East is the Dallas-based Centennial. As a result of the sale, the Westfield branding was dropped from their name on both centers.[17]

Anchor stores

Current tenant Former tenants/branding
Main anchors, main mall
Bed Bath and Beyond opened as Saks Fifth Avenue in 1983, closed in 1994
Macy's Home and Furniture opened as Bullock's on Feb. 19, 1975[4]
Target Montgomery Ward (opening tenant 1961)
(eastern main anchor, currently empty) May Company (opening tenant 1961), Robinsons-May, Macy's
Walker Scott (opened 1973)[18][19]
Secondary anchors, main mall
AMC Theatres (original tenant, opened 1995)[7]
Bloomingdale's Outlet Loehmann's (1994-2014)
F21 Red and Michaels Sport Chalet (1999-2016), J.J. Newberry's (1961-1999)
Nordstrom Rack (opened in 1994)
CAVA, Pesto Italian Craft Kitchen, and Mendocino Farms (all restaurants) Michaels (until its relocation in 2018)
Mission Valley West power center or strip mall
The Akron (opened in 1971)[20]
DSW Shoes -
Golf Galaxy The Good Guys, Golfsmith
Marshalls -
Old Navy -
Thrifty Drug Stores
Trader Joe's and Ulta Beauty Borders Books & Music
West Elm

Architecture of the former May Company building

Main article: May Company Building (Mission Valley, San Diego)

The original modernist May Company (later Macy's) building was designed in 1959 by William S. (Bill) Lewis, Jr. for LA-based AC Martin (later of Deems-Lewis), Frank L. Hope & Associates backstopped the project locally.[21] It opened in 1961. It has been described by San Diego architectural photographer and historian Darren Bradley as an architectural icon, a "jewel box with a unique texture … striking architecture … the cladding all the way around the building … (is in) a modernist design that plays with light and shadow … designed to grab attention." This was part of a modernist landscape established in the area in the 1960s. As of January 2017, Westfield was considering several different plans for the use of the building.[22]

A 2015 study by the City of San Diego concluded that the building meets several criteria for qualification for the San Diego Resources register: an example of community development and an identifiable architectural style (Modern Contemporary Architecture of 1955–1965). However the report stated that the building did not qualify because of the lack of integrity of the original construction, due to the replacement of some original tiles, altered walls, covering up of the building by new retail space set in front of it, removal of original pop-out display windows and "May Co." signage, and demolition of the 1958 canopy and columns, thus altogether the alteration of more than 50% of the surface area of the original building exterior. It also did not qualify because it is not the "identifiable work" of a "listed Master Architect".[23]

See also


  1. ^ "Westfield Mission Valley". Westfield Group. Retrieved February 9, 2011.
  2. ^ "Stores at Westfield Mission Valley". Westfield Mission Valley official site. Retrieved April 14, 2019.
  3. ^ Roger Showley (June 22, 2008). "Deja Vu in Mission Valley". The San Diego Union-Tribune.
  4. ^ a b Frick, Devin T. (2015). Bullock's Department Store. Arcadia Publishing. p. 127. ISBN 9781439650424. Retrieved April 14, 2019.
  5. ^ Mission Valley Community Plan (PDF). City of San Diego. June 1985. p. 48. Retrieved April 14, 2019.
  6. ^ Barbara Bay, "2 Shopping Centers Step Up Competition", The Los Angeles Times , 7 Dec 1982, Tue, Page 31
  7. ^ a b Marks, Scott (May 16, 2012). "San Diego's 10 Best Movie Theaters". San Diego Reader.
  8. ^ "MAY ROB MAY HS". www.macysnet.com. Retrieved June 23, 2021.
  9. ^ Penni Crabtree; Roger Showley (August 6, 2008). "Westfield files plan for condos, offices in 'village'". San Diego Union-Tribune.
  10. ^ "Seau's finally gets a replacement". San Diego Union-Tribune. December 11, 2013. Retrieved June 23, 2021.
  11. ^ "3 must-visit independent booksellers in San Diego". San Diego Union-Tribune. October 17, 2011. Retrieved June 23, 2021.
  12. ^ "Trader Joe's coming to Mission Valley". San Diego Union-Tribune. June 20, 2012. Retrieved June 23, 2021.
  13. ^ Showley, Roger (March 17, 2017). "Last days of Macy's in Mission Valley: Not much left but mannequins". San Diego Union-Tribune.
  14. ^ cantaloop_island (April 11, 2018). "Ruby's Diner at Mission Valley Center to close". r/sandiego. Retrieved June 23, 2021.
  15. ^ "Forever 21 closures: three San Diego stores on the chopping block amid bankruptcy". San Diego Union-Tribune. October 2, 2019. Retrieved June 23, 2021.
  16. ^ Woo, Candice (May 17, 2021). "Havana Grill Is Bringing Cuban Food and Miami Vibes to Mission Valley". Eater San Diego. Retrieved June 20, 2021.
  17. ^ "Westfield sells Mission Valley shopping centers for $290 million". San Diego Union-Tribune.
  18. ^ "Guide to the Walker Scott Department Store Records".
  19. ^ "Walker-Scott to Close All 6 of Its San Diego Stores". Los Angeles Times. November 8, 1986.
  20. ^ Ad for The Akron, San Francisco Examiner, 12 Oct 1971, Page 5
  21. ^ Frank L. Hope & Associates
  22. ^ Fudge, Tom (January 24, 2017). "Mission Valley Architectural Icon Seeks Tenant As Macy's Departs". KPBS News. Retrieved April 14, 2019.
  23. ^ 1702 Camino Del Rio North (PDF). San Diego Dept. of Parks and Recreation, via State of California Resource Agency. December 2015. Retrieved March 14, 2023.