A dying mall near Apple’s headquarters is turning into a fight over Silicon Valley’s soul

By Roland Li : sfchronicle – excerpt

As Apple flourished in Cupertino, becoming the first American company worth $1 trillion, Vallco Shopping Mall rotted away in its shadow.

The 1976 mall was home to the retail giants of the 20th century: Macy’s, Sears and J.C. Penney, which all closed their stores in the last three years as foot traffic dwindled and shoppers shifted online. Today, Vallco is a cavernous, mostly empty space of 1.2 million square feet, with a handful of survivors such as Dynasty Seafood Restaurant and the Bay Club hanging on. On the other side of Interstate 280 is Apple’s new $5 billion headquarters, which includes a sleek visitor center and shop.

Since 2014, developer Sand Hill Property Co. has sought to transform the mall into nearly 2 million square feet of office space, more than 2,400 housing units and a 400,000-square-foot retail center.

Thousands of Cupertino residents have fought back. In 2016, Sand Hill Property submitted a ballot measure to win support for one version of the project, while opponents had a measure that banned office space and housing on the site and kept the retail size the same. Both measures were rejected by voters, throwing the project into limbo… (more)


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