VALLEY CLAIM TO GAME DAVE & BUSTER'S CONSIDERS FALLBROOK MALL.
WEST HILLS - The West Valley entertainment scene might get an upscale billiards, burger and gaming emporium after all as a Dallas-based chain is eyeing a big chunk of soon-to-be vacant space at the Fallbrook Mall, the Daily News has learned.
Dave & Buster's Inc., which operates 27 big-box, sports-themed restaurants throughout the world, is keen on moving into the building now occupied by the J.C. Penney Outlet store, said David O. Corriveau, the company's co-chairman, co-chief executive officer and president.
While a deal has not been signed, the Dave & Buster's is putting some serious effort into expanding into the Valley. The outlet store is being closed later this year as part of a restructuring by J.C. Penney Co.
``On a scale of one to 10 we're about at a seven,'' he said of how close things are to getting done. ``We are quite enthused about the Fallbrook project. We love Woodland Hills.''
Converting the two-story outlet store into a restaurant would be about a $10 million project and so far the biggest obstacles are the real estate deal and making sure the city of Los Angeles wants the company's business, Corriveau said.
The company, founded in 1982, has been interested in this market for two years. Dave & Buster's initially wanted to go into the Westfield Shoppingtown Promenade but the mall's owner, Westfield America Corp. selected a Jillian's Entertainment Holdings Inc. business to help anchor the mall's makeover.
The Daily News reported last week that Jillian's has pulled out of the project.
Westfield spokeswoman Catherine Dickey said the company is talking with several possible tenants at the Promenade but declined to provide specifics.
The South Valley Area Planning Commission had approved Jillian's plan but added a condition that the business would have to be reviewed in about 18 months.
Los Angeles City Councilwoman Laura Chick, who represents the area, supported Jillian's plans and objected to the added review.
Dave & Buster's would eventually have to face the same process and the company would also bolt if the city implemented a similar condition.
``We would be looking for far less restrictions than were placed on the prior applicant. We walk (away from) deals where they (cities) place a contingency on us,'' said Bryan Spain, Dave & Buster's vice president of real estate development.
Eventually, the company's plans will have to pass muster from Chick and the West Hills Property Owners Association.
``I'm always open to proposals for sound and beneficial economic development. My office has not been contacted by any prospective tenant with more specific information,'' the councilwoman said in a statement.
The company likes the Fallbrook Mall location because it has plenty of parking and is a high-visibility site. And the mall's owner, Chicago-based General Growth Properties, is planning a makeover.
Officials of that company could not be reached for comment Tuesday.
Dave & Buster's already has two stores in Orange County.
The menu features pizza, burgers, salads, steak, chicken, seafood and ribs. And the restaurants feature more than a dozen kinds of games, including an Iwerks Turbo Ride Theater and a mystery dinner theater.
Chuck Gremer, president of the West Hills Property Association, said that he is familiar with the company and would like to see their plans.
His only concern now is how Dave & Buster's would deal with traffic and parking issues.
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|Publication:||Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)|
|Date:||Feb 14, 2001|
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