New mall lost nearly all power on Sunday

On its first weekend of business, The City’s new crown jewel of shopping malls was left in the dark.

The Westfield San Francisco Shopping Centre lost electricity Sunday for more than eight hours, according to Pacific Gas and Electric Co. The new $460 million wing of the mall opened Thursday in the revamped historic Emporium building, at 865 Market St., with more than 1.5 million square feet of stores.

“It was an equipment failure,” PG&E spokeswoman Darlene Chew said. “It’s strange because it is new equipment.”

The new wing of the mega-mall lost power at 4:06 p.m. when the power company’s brand new system, installed specifically for the mall, blew some fuses, according to Chew. She said PG&E was still trying to figure out what caused the fuses to go bad in the first place and that an investigation is under way. A new system was installed Monday.

Westfield management would not discuss how much revenue was lost due to the blackout.

Nordstroms and its adjacent stores, along with Bloomingdale’s and Century Theaters, remained open with power during the blackout, but the new retail wing of the mall was temporarily shut down, according to Westfield management.

Some of the stores were able to run on a backup generator until the mall closed at 7 p.m. on Sunday. An employee working for the Häagen Dazs ice cream store said he noticed the outage, but he was not bothered by it because “the ice cream is good” and still being served.

With 170 shops and restaurants, the new mall is the largest urban shopping center west of the Mississippi River and is expected to generate more than $600 million a year in retail sales, according to Westfield management.

PG&E was able to restore power to the building at 12:35 a.m. on Monday, according to Chew, and all the stores in the mall were open for business in the morning.

sfarooq@examiner.comBay Area NewsLocal

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