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Spring 2007 San Jose: Power Market

The Place to Be

When Dionne Warwick belted out her hit, “Do You Know the Way to San Jose?” back in 1968, it was a whole different town. Back then San Jose’s population was less than a quarter-million, compared to nearly a million today. Now called “The heart of Silicon Valley,” San Jose is home to hundreds of thousands of affluent residents, many who work for global players in the tech industry, including Hewlett-Packard, Intel, Apple, Cisco, Adobe, eBay and Sun Microsystems. In fact, tech firms are the city’s largest employer, with 300,000 people employed in more than 6,000 tech companies in the area.

imageFor shopper demographics, it doesn’t get much better than San Jose. Residents have the highest household income in the country according to the US Census, and they’re a highly educated group (more than half of resident adults hold at least a college degree). They’re a culturally diverse crowd as well: 33 percent White, 32 percent Hispanic and 28 percent Asian or Pacific Islander.

Shopping centers in the area are as varied as they are numerous, from super-regional enclosed malls with hundreds of stores, to pedestrian-only open-air lifestyle centers designed with a European flair. Located 50 miles south of San Francisco, San Jose is surrounded by mountains on three sides, protecting residents from the rain and fog that San Francisco often experiences, and delivering an average of 300 sunny days per year.

Last but not least, this is trend-forward California we’re talking about. For retailers who want to test a product or launch a new concept, there is no better place to gauge consumer interest than The Golden State. “Nothing else sets a trend quite like California,” says Gala Langdon, group vice president of business development for General Growth Properties in Riverside, CA.

Are you ready to start a trend? Take a look at the area’s dynamic centers, starting in San Jose proper, and get ready for your concept to take off.

San Jose Proper


General Growth Properties, Inc.
Opened: 1971 Size: 1.4 million s/f

Eastridge is nearing the end of a complete renovation that has transformed the center from a traditional enclosed mall into a dynamic center with a bustling retail streetscape for time-starved customers to enter some of their favorite stores directly. A two-level center with 130 stores, Eastridge is anchored by Barnes & Noble; Bed, Bath & Beyond; JCPenney; Macy’s; Sears; Sport Chalet; and a new 15-screen AMC Theatre.

imageEastridge is located in an affluent trade area—58 percent of the trade area’s households are classified as “elite suburb” or “urban uptown”—that is projected to grow 1.5 percent next year, nearly twice the average city growth rate, says Alice Snyder, marketing manager for Eastridge. She adds that the center is optimally positioned to accommodate the needs of the new upscale communities of Silver Creek and Evergreen located nearby. “These communities boast 3,000-plus new homes, with many sale prices in excess of $1 million,” she says.

Eastridge has 30 carts and three kiosks in its specialty leasing program, which is located in a spacious center court anchored by Starbucks.Unique tenants in the program include a car wash and valet service.

Santana Row

imageFederal Realty Investment Trust
Program manager: Provenzano Resources, Inc.
Opened: 2002 Size: 563,000 s/f

Santana Row is a neighborhood unto itself, with luxury apartments, condominiums, shops, spas, restaurants and a full-service hotel. In a three-block pedestrian-only section there are 70 shops, including Gucci, Crate & Barrel, Ann Taylor Loft, Anthropologie, and Donald Pliner, as well as 20 restaurants and a six-screen theater. Complete with fountains, sculptures and wine bar, Santana Row is known for its European flair. “It’s as if you took a slice of Paris or Italy and placed it in San Jose,” says Deborah Kravitz, principal of Provenzano Resources, Inc. in Sherman Oaks, CA, manager of the specialty retail program.

There are six carts in the specialty retail program, each a one-of-a-kind custom-designed unit. Tenants sell a variety of goods including unusual wooden toys and custom-made piggybanks. There are also 15 weekend-only cart tenants that sell artwork, pottery, glassware and other unique goods and services. The weekend-only program is intended for “artisan products” produced in limited supply, such as jewelry made out of typewriter keys and custom-designed candles. “It is the most unique program I’ve ever managed, in the most unique center,” says Kravitz, who has managed more than 100 specialty leasing programs.

Westfield Oakridge

imageWestfield Centres
Opened: 1973 Size: 1.1 million s/f

Westfield Oakridge packs the possibilities into this one-level enclosed, super-regional center that includes retail, entertainment and dining. There are six full-service restaurants, a 20-screen Century Theater, a state-of-the-art bowling alley and more than 185 specialty stores anchored by Macy’s, Target and Sears. During an expansion completed in 2005, an additional 400,000 square feet of retail space was added, along with a two-level, 150,000-square-foot Target, a Cheesecake Factory, a P.F. Chang’s and a Borders store. Westfield Oakridge has more than 10 million visitors a year. Reflecting San Jose’s dazzling demographics, the average household income for the center’s trade area is $124,160. “Our customer base is highly educated and has discretionary income,” says Marketing Director Jennifer Dacquisto.

There are 32 carts and four kiosks in the center’s specialty leasing program, including tenants selling women’s clothing, fashion accessories, high-tech gadgets and skincare products.

Westfield Valley Fair

imageWestfield Centres/JPMorgan Fleming Asset Management
Opened: 1986 Size: 1.5 million s/f

Westfield Valley Fair is a two-level enclosed, super-regional center with Nordstrom, Macy’s and Macy’s Men’s & Home Furnishings as its anchors. In addition, the center has the largest collection of specialty stores in northern California—about 260—including Juicy Couture, Louis Vuitton, Coach, and Ann Taylor. Four full-service restaurants and 17 fast-casual dining options complete the center. More than 16 million shoppers visit Westfield Valley Fair every year, and the center has an impressive primary trade area average household income of $117,266. Customers spend an average of $169 per visit.

Valley Fair’s specialty leasing program includes 45 carts and 13 kiosks. There are many retail success stories in the program, including Cocoa Bon, a retailer of fine chocolates that started as a temporary in-line and now has a permanent store in downtown Los Gatos with two more stores slated to open soon. Cart and kiosk-based tenants selling both interior and exterior home-improvement services have also been successful due to the continued residential development in the area.

Westgate Mall

imageFederal Realty Investment Trust
Program manager: Provenzano Resources, Inc.
Opened: 1960 Size: 640,000 s/f

Catering to the loyal customers that frequent this single-level enclosed, regional center are 60 specialty shops and anchors Nordstrom Rack, Ross, and Target. Westgate Mall is surrounded by several strong communities, namely Campbell, Saratoga, Cupertino and Monte Sereno. Within a one-mile radius of the mall, the average household income is $106,753. Westgate’s last renovation took place in 1995, in which sections of interior mall space were converted into larger stores with outside entrances. A substantial renovation is slated for the future but no details are being revealed at this time.

A specialty retail program currently being launched by Provenzano Resources will include approximately eight to 10 carts and four to six vendor-owned kiosks.

Just Outside San Jose

Outside the San Jose city limits, but within about a half-hour drive, there are more great malls in the area, including the Great Mall in Milpitas.

Great Mall

imageMilpitas, CA
The Mills Corporation
Opened: 1994 Size: 1.3 million s/f

What was formerly a Ford assembly plant is now the biggest value-oriented mall in northern California. A $15 million renovation was completed in 2005. Today shoppers in this one-level enclosed center meander through five different “neighborhoods” in a one-mile racetrack layout. Major retailers include Burlington Coat Factory, Dave and Buster’s, Gap Outlet, Group USA, Kohl’s, Marshalls, Neiman Marcus Last Call, Off 5th-Saks Fifth Avenue, Old Navy, Sears Appliance Outlet, Sports Authority, and a 20-screen Century Theatre, as well as over 200 specialty shops. Approximately 15 million visitors come to Great Mall annually, representing a culturally diverse crowd. Fifty-two percent of Milpitas residents are Asian.

There are 55 carts and 13 kiosks in the specialty leasing program, with retailers that range from nationally recognized names to first-time debuts. A recent unique concept is ornamental insects suspended in Lucite, sold as jewelry and paperweights.

NewPark Mall

imageNewark, CA
General Growth Properties, Inc.
Opened: 1980 Size: 1.1 million s/f

Minutes away from both San Francisco and San Jose sits NewPark Mall, the largest enclosed shopping destination between Pleasanton and San Jose. Located in an affluent and growing community, this two-level regional center with more than 130 specialty shops is anchored by JCPenney, Macy’s, Mervyns, Sears, and Target. More than 14 million shoppers visit each year, many of them in the “moms with strollers” demographic, according to Paige Allen, general manager for NewPark Mall.

There are 30 carts in the specialty leasing program and seven kiosks, with products such as fashion jewelry, 3-D puzzles and full-service watch repair.

Stanford Shopping Center

imagePalo Alto, CA
Simon Property Group
Opened: 1956 Size: 1.4 million s/f

Stanford Shopping Center, located just 15 minutes from San Jose in Palo Alto, is described as a one-level open-air oasis. Stanford sits on 70 acres of gardens with more than 1,300 trees, 400 flower-filled planters and myriad works of art by California artists, all acting as a backdrop to upscale shopping at its finest. The center has more than 140 specialty shops anchored by Bloomingdale’s, Macy’s, Neiman Marcus, and Nordstrom. Approximately 12 million annual visitors come to Stanford to stroll the luxurious grounds and shop the day away.

imageIn the outdoor specialty retail program, there are six carts with products including Italian jewelry, upscale shaving products, and Dead Sea cosmetics. With consumers in the trade area boasting an average household income of $135,345, the property is, “the cream of the crop,” says Specialty Leasing Representative Vicki Gruman, who manages the program, which has a waiting list. Waiting list aside, “we’re absolutely looking for new and creative concepts,” she says.

A Bit Farther Out

Extending the perimeter a bit to centers 30-45 miles outside of San Jose, there are even more fantastic centers with dynamic specialty leasing programs.


Daly City, CA
Jones Lang LaSalle
Opened: 1968 Size: 857,494 s/f

Serramonte is located just off of I-280 and less than three miles away from San Francisco State University, with 30,000 students enrolled. Add in the local residents and more than one million people live within a 10-mile radius of the center. Anchored by Mervyns, Macy’s, and Target, and housing more than 140 stores, this one-level enclosed center caters to value-oriented customers. Serramonte is currently in the process of a multi-million-dollar redevelopment that should be completed in the fall.

Serramonte’s specialty leasing program includes 10 carts with products such as silver jewelry, Dead Sea cosmetics, and personalized license holders and key rings.

Southland Mall

imageHayward, CA
General Growth Properties, Inc.
Opened: 1964 Size: 1.4 million s/f

Centrally located between San Jose and San Francisco, just off I-880, lies Southland Mall, a two-level enclosed center with JCPenney, Macy’s, Mervyns, and Sears as its anchors. Southland features national, regional and local retailers—140 of them—as well as a full-service fitness facility and a grocery store that cater to families. Seventy percent of shoppers within the trade area have children under the age of 18. Southland is currently in the process of adding three new restaurants: The Elephant Bar, Panera Bread, and Mimi’s Café. Daily customers average 40,000 to 60,000, many who come from as far north as Oakland and as far south as Union City.

There are 28 carts and four kiosks in Southland’s specialty leasing program with products such as Asian jewelry, 3-D puzzles made out of pine, and Dead Sea cosmetics.

Stoneridge Shopping Center

Pleasanton, CA
The Mills Corporation
Opened: 1980 Size: 1.3 million s/f

Located at the intersection of the region’s primary north/south and east/west interstates (I-680 and I-580) is Stoneridge Shopping Center, a two-level enclosed, super-regional center anchored by Nordstrom, Macy’s Women’s, Macy’s Men’s/Children/Home, JCPenney, and Sears.

imageThere are also more than 165 specialty stores, Coach and Montblanc among them. Stoneridge’s trade area boasts an average household income of $120,400 (within a three-mile radius).

There are 24 carts and six kiosks in the specialty leasing program that carry bath-and-body products, jewelry, iPod accessories, and language-learning software.

The specialty retail program was launched in 1999 with 17 carts and has been growing ever since.

The Shops at Tanforan

San Bruno, CA
General Growth Properties, Inc.
Opened: 1971 Size: 973,520 s/f

In 2005 The Shops at Tanforan completed a redevelopment that took more than two years and included a total demolition and redesign of the common area and mall shops, according to Irene Wu, business development representative for General Growth Properties, Inc. in San Bruno, CA.

imageThis enclosed, two-level center is anchored by JCPenney, Sears and Target (all three stores are top performers in their chains, says Wu), as well as Barnes & Noble Booksellers and Old Navy. Directly across the street from Tanforan is a mixed-use development featuring 900 residential units and 240 assisted-living units.

In Tanforan’s specialty leasing program there are 24 brand-new carts “carefully selected to complement the new design and quality of the center,” says Wu. Products sold include cellphone accessories and children’s shoes. Kiosks are being considered for a program addition in the near future.

The way to San Jose

With so many shopping centers, each with its own personality and demographics, the San Jose area offers specialty retailers opportunity at every turn. There are more than 210 carts and nearly 50 kiosk spaces within a 25 mile radius of the city’s center.

With the tenth-largest population and the highest average disposable income in the US, the question is: Do you know the way to San Jose?

Near and Far

Westfield San Francisco Centre

The Westfield Group and Forest City Enterprises
Opened: 2006 Size: 1.5 million s/f

Although Westfield San Francisco lies in the heart of San Francisco, and not San Jose, it deserves more than a passing mention. This enclosed nine-level, mixed-use vertical center, (five levels of retail and four levels of office space), was recently redeveloped and expanded at a cost of more than $400 million. Last September the center held a grand reopening for what is now said to be the largest shopping center west of the Mississippi River. Westfield expects 25 million shoppers to visit the mall annually.

imageIt’s home to the second-largest Bloomingdale’s (the New York flagship store is the largest) and the second-largest Nordstrom (the Seattle store is the largest). Other anchors include Bristol Farms, Century Theatres, and San Francisco State University.

The center also has more than 170 specialty shops, 43 percent of which are new to the San Francisco market, including The Art of Shaving, Furla, and Palm. The specialty leasing program consists of 30 carts and nine kiosks spread throughout all five retail levels.

Centers Near San Jose

And that’s not all! A half-dozen more centers dot the San Jose area, including:

Bayfair Center, San Leandro, CA
Leasing: Provenzano Resources

Bay Street Emeryville, Emeryville, CA
Leasing: Provenzano Resources

Capitola Mall, Capitola, CA

Stonestown Galleria, San Francisco, CA

Somersville Towne Center, Antioch, CA

Sunvalley Shopping Center, Concord, CA

Emily Lambert

Lambert, a senior writer for SRR, resides in Philadelphia. She can be reached at .

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