Developer proposes replacing Laguna Hills Mall with 2,100 apartments, hotel and more
About 2,100 apartment units, a boutique hotel, a three-acre park, four office buildings and a movie theater are just a part of an updated proposal for replacing the Laguna Hills Mall.
Merlone Geier Partners unveiled its updated plan for the 68-acre Five Lagunas at a community open house inside the mall on Wednesday, April 24. Two anchor stores – Macy’s and J.C. Penney – going vacant last year freed up more areas for development, company officials said of the expanded plans.
In 2016, Merlone Geier Partners asked the city to build nearly 1,000 luxury apartments, less than half of what the company’s now proposing.
“Residential is the key to the viability of the site,” Vice President of Development Stephan Logan said. Housing is needed to bring people both to the office and the retail spaces.
Logan said the company has yet to flesh out what mix of housing it will be requesting. Senior housing may be one of the options, he said.
Wednesday’s meeting will be the first of many to get community feedback, company officials said.
Meanwhile, the company plans to submit a proposal to the city by June 1, which will lead to a lengthy environmental review process.
If the company secures the necessary approvals, construction could start in 24 to 30 months, and would begin with retail space, Logan said.