Why is Rams owner Stan Kroenke buying so much of Woodland Hills? SoFi Stadium gives a hint.
Photo: The former 13-story Anthem Blue Cross tower in the Warner Center in 2017.
Rams owner Stan Kroenke has acquired a high-rise office building in Woodland Hills near a former mall he bought a few months ago, giving a strong signal that the billionaire businessman wants to build a second sports-centric development like the one around SoFi Stadium.
Kroenke’s two sites in the Warner Center area are expected to be part of a large mixed-use complex that could include shops, restaurants, hotels and residences, as well as a training facility for the football team Super Bowl winner.
Kroenke bought the Oxnard Street office building on Friday, the Kroenke Group confirmed. The company did not disclose how much Kroenke paid for the building and surrounding land.
But real estate sources familiar with the deal who spoke on condition of anonymity said he paid around $175 million for the property, which was last occupied by health insurer Anthem Inc. In total, Kroenke has invested approximately $325 million in neighboring properties.
The 13-story tower sits on a 25-acre site slated for development as Los Angeles officials work to make Warner Center a more vibrant urban environment where people live, work, shop and play .
The Particular Neighborhood Plan adopted in 2013 promotes the construction of housing, shops and restaurants, a real welcome mat for builders. And large-scale mixed-use developments are already underway.
Although the Kroenke Group has yet to publicly acknowledge any development plans in Woodland Hills, the company is widely expected to build a scaled-down version of its SoFi sports campus in Inglewood, complete with team headquarters, the training center and grounds, as well as non-football commercial development.
When Kroenke’s vision for the SoFi Stadium complex is complete, the football arena will be surrounded by a complex 3.5 times the size of Disneyland containing a performance hall, hotel, shops, restaurants, offices, houses and a lake with waterfalls.
At Warner Center, Kroenke bought the former Woodland Hills Promenade mall for $150 million in March. The city is supporting the development of apartments, offices, a hotel and a sports and entertainment center on the site. It sits across busy Owensmouth Avenue from the former Anthem property which Kroenke has just purchased.
The latest purchase brings Kroenke’s holdings in Woodland Hills to approximately 65 acres, making the combined parcels one of the largest development sites in the area, said John M. Walker, president of the Woodland Hills Homeowners Organization. “It is enormous.”
Walker expects Kroenke’s company to come up with a new land use design that will encompass the entire site. Its homeowners group supports improvements to the Warner Center, but will push for any proposed development plan to address ways to control noise and traffic, such as a widened freeway exit and widening of streets.
“It’s incredibly exciting that The Kroenke Group has acquired the former Anthem locations, expanding their future footprint at the Warner Center,” said LA City Councilman Bob Blumenfield. “While many details need to be worked out, I’m thrilled the Rams want to build their new home in the western San Fernando Valley, and I look forward to working closely with them on this project.”
Important neighbors to Kroenke’s properties include the Warner Center Towers office complex, the Westfield Topanga & the Village regional shopping center and a hotel, the Warner Center Marriott Woodland Hills.
Planned additions to the neighborhood include a proposed billion-dollar complex on Warner Center Lane with offices, shops, restaurants, residences and a hotel that would replace a 1980s office park. It would have parks and open spaces intended for pedestrians.