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Top 20 Largest Shopping Center in Bay Area – No. 1 – Westfield San Francisco Center – San Francisco

Westfield San Francisco Center


Westfield San Francisco Center is a vertical mall that leaves you feeling like you’ve walked in nine circles.

The mall’s unique architecture features five levels of stores with unusual spiral-shaped escalators. The sixth floor features Century Theatres and San Francisco State University. Atop the mall sits the Seattle-based Nordstrom department store, which features another five levels of upscale merchandise.


Stores: 170
Type: Superregional center
Enclosed: Yes
GLA: 139,354.56 m2 (1,500,000 sq. ft.)
Levels: 5
Owner: Westfield Centres
Management Company: Westfield Centres
Grand Openings: 1988 (mall); Sep. 28, 2006 (Bloomingdale’s and new mall in old Emporium building)
Anchor Closures: 1996 (The Emporium)
Renovated: 1991

$460M construction cost

Location : 865 Market St San Francisco, California, 94103 USA
Opening date : October 1988
Developer : Sheldon Gordon
Management Westfield Group
Owner Westfield Group &
Forest City Enterprises
No. of stores and services : 180+
No. of anchor tenants: 9
Total retail floor area : 1.25 million ft² retail & 250,000 ft² office
No. of floors : 9


Westfield San Francisco Center houses numerous high-end stores and provides enough reasons to walk from Union Square. In fact, you’ll find some of the same stores that you can find just outside (such as Kenneth Cole and Aldo shoes). However, this mall is such a draw that the area can support multiple locations of a single store. Look for an exceptional Abercrombie & Fitch and J. Crew.

The Nordstrom department store, known for its outstanding service and shoes, is the Bay Area flagship. It offers an extensive collection of designer clothing for men, women, and children.

The new Bloomingdale’s is the second largest in the chain and features an outstanding collection of designers and other luxuries.

A first for the area, but typically of many malls abroad, is a grocery store. The chic Southern California grocer, Bristol Farms, makes its Bay Area debut here.


The food court, situated on the Concourse (lowest) level is named the Food Emporium. Its name pays homage to the historic department store that once called this area home. You’ll find a fantastic array of gourmet eateries that can satisfy even the most finicky of eaters. Scattered throughout the Bloomingdale’s side of the mall, you’ll find a number of upscale restaurants for discriminating tastes. For moderately-priced American food and a brilliant view of downtown, try the Nordstrom Cafe.


Westfield San Francisco Center is located downtown, at the corner of Market Street and 5th Street. Its urban location makes parking difficult. However, try the Fifth & Mission/Yerba Buena Garage.

It’s also right atop the Powell Street BART and MUNI station.

Westfield San Francisco Centre is an upscale, urban shopping center located in San Francisco, California, managed by the Westfield Group and co-owned by Westfield and Forest City Enterprises. It is anchored by Nordstrom and Bloomingdale’s, and includes a Century Theatres multiplex, aBristol Farms gourmet grocery store and a branch of San Francisco State University. It connects directly to the Powell Street transit station via an underground entrance.

Originally developed by Sheldon Gordon (co-developer of The Forum Shops at Caesars and Beverly Center) the center opened in October 1988 asSan Francisco Shopping Centre with approximately 500,000 square feet (46,000 m2) of space, the then-largest Nordstrom store (350,000 square feet) on the top several floors, the first spiral escalators in the United States, and connecting through to the adjoining Emporium-Capwell flagship store.

After a slow start, it soon became one of the top performing shopping centers in the country. In 1996, the adjoining Emporium (it had dropped the Capwell name by then) was shuttered in the wake of Federated Department Stores‘ buyout of its parent, Broadway Stores. The vacated store was temporarily used as a Macy’s furniture store while it renovated its Union Square flagship in 1997.

In May 1997, Urban Shopping Centers, Inc., a Real Estate Investment Trust acquired a half-interest and management of the center. This was followed by Urban’s own buyout by Rodamco North America N.V. (a European property firm primarily invested in the United States) in October 2000 and Rodamco’s subsequent sale to a consortium including The Westfield Group in January 2002. Westfield acquired its initial 50% stake in the center at this time and soon bought the rest.

In 2003, Forest City, which had acquired redevelopment rights to the long-vacant Emporium store from Federated, reached an agreement with Westfield to jointly redevelop the two properties.[citation needed] The newly expanded mixed-use Westfield San Francisco Centre that was unveiled September 28, 2006,[2] includes Bloomingdale’s West Coast flagship store, a nine-screen Century Theatres multiplex theater featuring 2 XD screens, and a satellite campus for San Francisco State University in its 1.5 million ft² of space.

The redevelopment cost $440 million. Only the front facade and landmark dome of the original structure were preserved; the rest of the structure was completely gutted and replaced. Upon completion of the project, Forest City became an equity partner and along with Westfield assumed responsibility for day-to-day management.[3] In March 2009, it was announced that Westfield San Francisco Centre shopping center was named as one of nine finalists vying for the title of “World’s Best Shopping Center” as part of the International Council of Shopping Centers Inc.’sinaugural “Best of the Best” awards.

The dome within the shopping center.

In 2011, the San Francisco Police Department considered putting a substation in the mall to prevent rampant shoplifting.

Consisting of over 1.5 million square feet of specialty retail and entertainment facilities, this project was constructed within and around the existing historical Emporium department store and shopping center building.


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