Stars kick off grand opening at UTC mall

Celebrities entertained crowds

LA JOLLA, Calif. - Shoppers can enjoy several new additions to the Westfield University Town Center mall starting Friday.

The mall unveiled its new look Thursday night with the help of the star of "E! News", Giuliana Rancic, and singer Natasha Bedingfield.

Rancic hosted a fashion show and Bedingfield played an acoustic concert for the hundreds of people who packed the outdoor mall.

The University City mall, which has spent $180 million in renovations, has changed its look by redesigning each storefront window, building a new movie theater and implementing a resort-style shopping center.

The expansion has brought in 15 new stores -- five of which are making their debut in San Diego. One of the new stores belongs to automaker Tesla, where shoppers can actually custom-make their own electric car in the store.

Westfield Shopping Center spokesman Tom Tierney said the changes have brought in 1,400 jobs to the market.

"We're actually going to be boosting retail sales by $128 million, which will add another $1.2 million to the sales tax revenues," said Tierney.

Mall officials said the one thing that hasn't changed at Westfield UTC is the pet-friendly environment.

Visitor Eileen Hope said she has been coming to Westfield UTC every day for that reason. She told 10News the upgrades give her more places to shop and eat with her dog in tow.

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