Going Upscale : Beverly Center Broadway Will Become Bloomingdale's


Ending months of uncertainty, Federated Department Stores said Thursday that its Broadway department store at the Beverly Center in Los Angeles will be converted into a Bloomingdale's, adding to the list of the upscale department stores making their debut in California this fall.

Though it was announced in December that the Beverly Center Broadway would close in mid-March, Federated did not outline its plans for the property. But spokeswoman Carol Sanger said Thursday that the company had wanted to open a Bloomingdale's there all along.

"It was a matter of completing the negotiations with the developer," Sanger said. "This is just a process that in some cases takes longer than others."

The new Bloomingdale's is expected to open in November after extensive renovations are completed.

"We're basically gutting the store," Bloomingdale's Chairman Michael Gould said. "What people will see is stores that are much easier to shop in and much more open."

Four other Bloomingdale's will open in the fall as well: at Newport Beach's Fashion Island, Century City Shopping Center, Sherman Oaks Fashion Square and a Northern California mall near Stanford University.

Cincinnati-based Federated on Thursday announced its third round of store-conversion plans since the company bought 82 properties in October from Broadway Stores Inc. The Federated chain, which boasts annual sales of more than $15 billion, acquired the Broadway, Emporium and Weinstocks stores and will either sell the buildings or convert them to Bloomingdale's or Macy's.

Federated also announced its plans for seven California stores.

Broadway stores in Pasadena and Hawthorne and the Weinstocks store in Stockton will be converted to Broadway clearance centers through June. Sears has postponed its previously announced acquisition of the store at Plaza Pasadena until then, and Federated will continue to seek buyers for the Stockton store. The company has not yet determined what to do with its Hawthorne Plaza property.

The retailer said it will convert the Valley Fair Emporium store in Santa Clara into a Macy's. And it will trade two larger Weinstocks stores in Fresno and Modesto for existing smaller Gottschalks Inc. stores in those communities. Those properties will then be converted into Macy's. Also, Federated said it will close the Richmond, Calif., Hilltop Emporium store in mid-April.

The future of four remaining establishments is still uncertain. Within a few months, Sanger said, Federated will decide what to do with the Solano Emporium in Fairfield, the Huntington Center Broadway in Huntington Beach, the Northridge Fashion Center Broadway and Weinstocks in downtown Sacramento.

The retailer operates more than 440 department stores and 100 specialty stores in 37 states.

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