Touted by many as San Diego's finest collection of stores, the outdoor Fashion Valley Shopping Center is home to more than 200 shops, restaurants and bistro cafys. Anchoring the center are six major department stores and a huge cinema, with all shopping activities complemented by the ATM services of Bank of America.
Originally opened in 1969 on the former site of Westgate Park baseball stadium, the Fashion Valley was planned from the start to be the leading shopping center in the San Diego area. Its first anchor tenants were Buffum's, The Broadway, J.W. Robinson's, and JC Penney's, of which the latter still remains. Nordstrom and Neiman Marcus were added in 1981. Saks Fifth Avenue, Macy's, and Bloomingdale's later followed.
In 1997, the center was renovated at a cost of $110 million and expanded to its current 1,700,000 square feet of total retail floor space with five parking facilities that can handle up to 8,000 vehicles. In 2001, a fifty percent stake in the property was obtained by the Simon Property Group, an S&P 500 company based in Indianapolis and the United States' largest public real estate company, who now oversee mall management here.
Some two dozen categories of items are sold at the smaller stores positioned between the major department stores. They include accessories, arts and crafts, cards / books / gifts / stationery, children's fashions, health and beauty items, home dycor and home furnishings. Also sold are jewelry, luggage, men's fashions, music / electronics / video, optical / eyewear, shoes, specialty food, sporting goods / activewear, toys and games, and women's fashions. AMC Theatres has a Cineplex here, too, with 18 screens.
Among major retailers at Fashion Valley Shopping Center are Coach, Gucci, Tiffany & Company, MAC Cosmetics, Louis Vuitton, Tory Burch, Eddie Bauer, Bath & Body Works, Victoria's Secret, BOSS Stores, Burberry, J. Crew, Henry Bendel, bebe, and more. Nineteen different shops alone offer footwear, from the Foot Locker and Skechers to Max Mara and Hermis. More than twenty display accessories, including Rolex, Tourneau, Swarovski Crystal, and Montblanc, among others. Children are not left out either, with GapKids, the Children's Place, Build-a-Bear Workshop, and Geppetto's.
For dining at Fashion Valley Shopping Center, shoppers may choose from a dozen over-the-counter restaurants, including the La Cucina di Pizzerie, Muscle Beach Lemonade, Panda Express, Rubio's Baja Grill, Sarku Japan, Wetzel's Pretzels, and more. Full-service restaurants with wait staff are also available, such as Boudin Sourdough Bakery & Cafy, Bing Crosby's Restaurant & Piano Bar, California Pizza Kitchen, the Cheesecake Factory, P.F. Chang's China Bistro, and Uno Chicago Grill, among others.
Through Simon Properties, Fashion Valley Shopping Center makes available membership in the Kidgits Club. Members receive access to games, goodies, newsletters and interactive events. Following enrollment, priced at $5 per child, a membership card and a Kidgits Club T-shirt are issued.
Patrons with children requiring single strollers may rent them from Guest Services at a rate of $5 per day. The Guest Services Desk can be found at the rear of the mall near Boudin and Sports Fever. Double strollers are also available for $7 per day on the first level in front of JC Penney's.
Fashion Valley Shopping Center is located in the heart of Mission Valley just off Highway 163. The address is 7007 Friars Road, San Diego, California 92108. Regular mall hours are 10am to 9pm Monday through Saturday and 11am to 7pm on Sundays. Shoppers should be aware that individual store hours may differ from the regular mall hours.