Developer Rick Caruso plans to bulldoze a movie theater at his outdoor mall in Calabasas and replace it with nearly 120 residences and dozens of new stores and restaurants.

The former Los Angeles mayoral candidate and his Fairfax-based Caruso Affiliated have submitted plans to rebuild The Commons in Calabasas at 4719 Commons Way, Acorn Report.

Plans call for the demolition of the Regency Theater, which has seen its attendance drop during the pandemic.

Two sections of the 25-acre upscale mall in the celebrity-studded city on the southwestern edge of the San Fernando Valley will be replaced by ground-floor shops and restaurants in the complex, which will accommodate up to 119 apartments. Twelve of these apartments are affordable.

The theater at The Commons is the only movie theater in Calabasas, opening as the Edwards Cinemas when the mall opened in 1998. The 33,000-square-foot theater was taken over by the Regency last year after former owner Regal went bankrupt.

Caruso retains ownership of the theater lease and wants to demolish the building and replace it with a five-story mixed-use building with 101 apartments and a 2,000-square-foot ground floor store.

Residents have access to underground parking and a rooftop swimming pool.

According to Acorn, the Commons Central renovation called for the creation of four mixed-use complexes in the parking lot in front of the theater, connected by grassy fields and winding walkways.

Each building will be one to three storeys high, with as many as 10 new boutiques and as many as five new restaurants on the ground floor. A total of 18 apartments will be located on the top floor.

The redevelopment will add 24,000 square feet of new retail space, and nearly 120 residences, to a section of the mall called Commons Lane. The north and south edges of The Commons will remain the same. The cost and timeline for the renovation were not disclosed.

The homes will count towards the 354 new units for which Calabasas must find space by 2030 to meet its state mandated housing elements.

Caruso owns Caruso Affiliated, owner of The Grove at Farmers Market Mall in Fairfax. It also owns the Americana at Brand in Glendale, Palisades Village in Pacific Palisades and other upscale shopping centers in the area.

The billionaire developer ran for mayor against Rep. Karen Bass and was defeated in November $100 million His own money is in the game.

— Dana Bartholomew

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