Vallco Shopping Mall – Deterioration and Renovation

Vallco Shopping Mall – Deterioration and Renovation

Vallco Fashion Park 

Address: 10123 N Wolfe Rd, Cupertino, CA 95014

Deterioration and Renovation

Occupancy began deteriorating in the 1990s, and the emptying of the mall continued into the mid 2000s. One reason for this decline was that the selection of mid-range stores didn’t reflect the affluence of the surrounding populace.

Alan Wong, Emily Chen, and John Nguyen bought Vallco and began renovation of the mostly empty mall in 2005. By 2006, Vallco had the lowest occupancy rate of any mall in the area, at just 24 percent. One of the changes made to Vallco as part of these new renovations was to completely close the first of the mall’s two levels in 2005, leaving the focus on the second floor. From there, new tenants were pulled in over the next few years.

In 2006, Cupertino voters prevented re-zoning of part of the Vallco property for condominiums by overturning a re-zoning ordinance that was passed by the city council. The loss of the revenue that was expected from this sale contributed to the financial problems of the owners. The contractor for the movie theater, DPR, filed a mechanic’s lien against the owners for approximately US$10 million in July 2007, which was settled the following September when Orbit Resources acquired the mall.

Vallco Fashion Park’s name was changed to Cupertino Square in 2007. Later that year, the owners sold three parcels of land to Evershine Property Management and sold a controlling stake of the mall to Orbit Resources, which switched managing agents from Landmark Property Management to Jones Lang LaSalle.

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Renovation of the mall that began in 2005 continued. By 2009, two new parking structures, a 16-screen AMC movie theater, a food court, and Strike Bowling (at the former location of Tilt Family Entertainment Center) had been added to the complex. Future plans included shops facing the street at the corner of Wolfe Road and Vallco Parkway and a seismic upgrade of the parking garage west of the theatres as well as the main mall structure, two new hotels and a Hofbrau Beer Hall adjacent the theaters. The bankruptcy filing in 2008 derailed all the future plans (hotel retail and the beer hall)

In September 2008, the two owners of the complex filed for bankruptcy to prevent the primary financier, Gramercy Capital, from foreclosing on their property. According to Gramercy, the assets of the company fell well below the debt owed, though the consortium disputed this.

In September 2009, Vietnamese food processing company Son Son Co. purchased Cupertino Square for US$64 million in an all-cash transaction. The new owners restored the name Vallco Shopping Mall.

File photo Jacqueline Ramseyer/Bay Area News Group/2011 Entrance to Vallco from Hwy 280 onto Wolfe Road.

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In October 2014, Sand Hill Property Co. purchased Macy’s, J. C. Penney, and Sears at approximately US$200 million. In November 2014, Sand Hill Property Co. completed purchase of the entire mall for a total of US$320 million, the first time the entire mall including the anchor stores had been under the same ownership.

In January 2015, JCPenney and Macy’s announced plans to close their Cupertino Square Locations Sears also announced that its store would close in October 2015. The remaining mall tenants have been notified their leases are up to prepare for the mall’s shutdown in 2016. Some of the stores will be relocated into Sand Hill’s nearby development, Main Street Cupertino.

In August 2015, Sand Hill announced a plan to demolish the mall structures and make it into The Hills at Vallco, presenting a new vision for Vallco: The Hills at Vallco. Informed by community feedback and consistent with Cupertino’s General Plan, The Hills at Vallco will revitalize the Vallco Shopping Mall into a vibrant, sustainable, walkable and safe new neighborhood with a mix of retail, dining, entertainment, recreation, offices, housing, open space and public amenities.It is to be covered with the world’s largest green roof, which is to be occupied by a city park. Rafael Viñoly Architects and OLIN Landscape Architects have been selected as chief designers of the project.

The Hills at Vallco represents not just a new mixed-use town center for our community, but also an integrated 30-acre community park and nature preserve for all Cupertino residents to enjoy.

Under the new proposal for The Hills at Vallco, Sand Hill said popular and established Vallco tenants would all come back, including the AMC Theaters, the Bay Club, The Ice Rink and the Bowling Alley.

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