Showing posts with label san jose malls. Show all posts
Showing posts with label san jose malls. Show all posts

Monday, October 9, 2023

Safeway next to Valley Fair Mall finally closing, perhaps opening up expansion opportunities

After 67 years, the anachronistic-looking Safeway next to Valley Fair mall is finally closing. It was only a matter of time given how valuable this land is and how unusual it is to have a Safeway right next to the most successful mall in California.

This opens a pretty significant expansion opportunity for the mall, which has been on a roll with both retail stores and experiences for visitors such as a high-end cinema, bowling, escape games, and foodie destinations like Eataly, Din Tai Fung, and Baekjeong. Perhaps the location could be used to push out Macy's Men's and extend the newest wing. This area is filled with premium outdoor dining, luxury retailers like Lucid Motors and new flagship stores (Apple, Burberry). While most malls are struggling, Valley Fair and Santana Row are both thriving, so now would be a great time to continue to invest.

As for the Safeway employees, they will all be given options to move to other stores in the area.

Source: SFGATE

Friday, August 25, 2023

2nd Taco Bell *Cantina* opens in San Jose

If you have ever been to Taco Bell and wished there was something with a little more kick to wash those tacos down, today is your lucky day. A new Taco Bell Cantina opened next to the Century Theaters at Oakridge Mall. Unlike other Taco Bells, the "Cantina" variety serve alcohol including blended margaritas and beers and usually stay open until midnight.

It's a surreal experience getting your alcoholic beverages at a Taco Bell, but they were surprisingly good and affordable. I would take this over your typical movie theater food any day of the week.

There is one other Taco Bell Cantina at 19 Market St. in Downtown San Jose. I'll never forget that location as it's the only place where I personally experienced a crime. As I sat down to eat, a young man in a peacoat asked if he could have one of my Cheesy Gordita Crunch tacos. I said I'm good. Then he tried to trade me his peacoat for the taco. While tempting and likely a trade in my favor, I still said no. When I got up to tell one of the managers I was getting a bit uncomfortable, he grabbed my taco and ran away! He didn't even leave the peacoat. Thankfully customer service was excellent and Taco Bell Cantina staff immediately replaced my pilfered Cheesy Gordita Crunch taco at no additional charge. No police report was filed.

True random story aside, if you enjoy Taco Bell this is the best one to go to. Their fancy frozen margaritas can also be made without alcohol and they have nicer seating they your typical Taco Bell. This new one even has a patio with a fireplace.

Source: Fox KTVU

Monday, July 24, 2023

Valley Fair to become the largest luxury watch retail site in the country

Valley Fair already has a huge list of over-the-top watch stores where you can buy timepieces that cost as much as Teslas. These include IWC Schaffhausen, Panerai, Jaeger LeCoultre and Vacheron Constantin. If you haven't heard of any of those (like myself) they they are probably out of your budget. 

CH Premier Jewelers is planning to build a 16,000 SQFT multi-brand flagship store that will have several different watch boutiques. These would be brands like Patek Philippe, Omega, Blancpain, and Breguet & Piaget. This sounds almost like a department store for watches that should come with free Dom PĂ©rignon and caviar while you're shopping--and perhaps they will off that. New 2023 Patek Philippe watches sell for up to $9,000,000. I had to count zeroes, but yes that is correct.

The new addition will make Valley Fair the top destination in the US for ultra-luxury watches.

Source: Silicon Valley Joe from the San Jose Development Forum


Monday, March 27, 2023

Valley Fair is expanding and hitting records

After investing over $1 billion in greatly increasing the square footage of Valley Fair, disaster struck with the COVID pandemic. While many shopping centers are still struggling, Valley Fair is currently hitting its stride with record numbers of visitors and retail activity. Foot traffic and retail sales are both way beyond pre-COVID days.

The recent additions of a flagship Bloomingdale's, Eataly, Showplace ICON cinema, a new Apple Store, and an outdoor upscale dining district were tremendous successes. However, there is already a long list of new retailers coming to Valley Fair in 2023.

Coming up is Bowlero, which has bowling and billiards. It also features several bars and a full menu. There are 3 other locations (South SJ, Cupertino, and Milpitas).

You have a new Escape Game venue coming, one of my favorite things to do with friends and/or coworkers.

For food options, you have Marugame Udon, Killiney Kopitiam (Singaporean cuisine), and the first Northern Californian Baekjeong Korean BBQ. 

Last but not least, if you can afford Swiss watches that cost as much as a car then you'll be happy to hear Vacheron Constantin as the next major retailor coming to San Jose. This will be the 3rd Californian location (the other two are Palo Alto and SF). Also on the retail side you have expansions of Burberry, Louis Vuitton, and Marc Jacobs.

The diversity of what is being added to Valley Fair is impressive--it's going far beyond a typical mall. Now if only we could get mass transit and a better linkage to Santana Row.

Tuesday, December 29, 2020

iChina Restaurant in Valley Fair

Covid hit just as San Jose was beginning a true culinary Renaissance. We even got our first Michelin Star restaurant in 2017. Over this entire decade it feels like expectations have changed and there is a general shift away from cookie-cutter chain restaurants to more unique offerings. Old strip malls from my childhood that were filled with fast food joints like Taco Bell and Little Caesars now have Vietnamese Cafes, Indian Pizzerias, and wine bars featuring tapas.

I was pleasantly shocked when I stumbled across these photos of iChina in Valley Fair. This easily could have been another Cheescake-factory, but instead they hired the same designer from Hong Kong that worked on the top floors at the Burj Dubai (world's tallest building). The aesthetic looks stunning, and hopefully the food will live up to design. I can't wait to visit when all this craziness is over.

Source: Silicon Valley Joe from the San Jose Development Forum

Tuesday, November 10, 2020

Lucid Motors opens Valley Fair "Studio"

Valley Fair has a new flagship electric car store, and it's not Tesla. Lucid Motors is an ultra-luxury car brand that just has a single model, the Lucid Air. It's a $100k+ sedan that competes with the likes of the Mercedes S-Class or BMW 7-Series and comes with a staggering 1,000 horsepower powertrain.

If the car and store seem eerily similar to Tesla, that's because most of the team behind Lucid are ex-Tesla engineers that helped design the Tesla Model S. Coincidentally, the very first Tesla "Store" was across the street at Santana Row. Lucid event built a high-speed charging station in the Valley Fair garage, very similar to what Tesla did across the street at the row.

While you won't be able to test drive a Lucid Air yet, you can see all of the options and trims (which are named after Californian destinations like Santa Barbara). The showroom also looks stunning, it's worth checking out if you're at Valley Fair already.

This location is one of only four with the others being Lucid's Headquarters in Newark, Beverly Hills, and Century City (LA). Eventually they will have 20 studios. Long term, they plan to offer SUVs and more affordable models as well.

Source: SVBJ

Tuesday, August 25, 2020

Valley Fair Open-Air Market

Desperate times call for desperate measures. Valley Fair has been closed for months, so they have gotten creative and launched an outdoor pop-up to allow some of it's tenants to continue operations. If you find it ironic that people are shopping in tents right in front of Valley Fair's shiny new (and deserted) $1.1 billion expansion, you're not the only one.

The outdoor market is open from 1pm to 7pm from Friday to Sunday in the Outdoor Plaza and North Valet Lot. Below are the list of participating retailers and eateries. The department stores are now fully open as well (masks required of course).


  • Athleta (Thursdays & Fridays only + the weekend of 8/21)
  • California Pizza Kitchen: outdoor dining on their patio, adjacent to Forest Avenue (open 7 days a week)
  • Champs Sports
  • The Waffle Roost Food Truck (@thewaffleroost | Saturday's only from 12 - 3:30)
  • Coach
  • Cotton On
  • Cotton On Kids 
  • David Yuman
  • Din Tai Fung: outdoor dining on their pop-up patio, adjacent to Forest Avenue (open 7 days a week) 
  • Foot Locker 
  • Fresh Society
  • Haagen Dazs (open 7 days a week in the North Valet) 
  • Hugo Boss
  • Johnny Was (only Sat & Sun) 
  • Kay Jewelers 
  • Koja Kitchen Bar
  • Levi's
  • Lovesac
  • MCM
  • Mex Cal Taco Truck
  • Pac Sun
  • Pottery Barn 
  • Quay Australia
  • Rabbit Rabbit Tea 
  • Salt & Straw (open 7 days a week on the plaza)
  • Shoe Palace
  • Talbots 
  • UNTUCKit (open 7 days a week on the plaza)
  • Young Art Lessons 
  • Zales
  • Zumiez

Source: San Jose Inside

Monday, March 16, 2020

Valley Fair's $1.1B expansion is now partially open

I swung by Valley Fair this weekend to check out the new 500,000 SQFT expansion. Thanks to the Coronavirus, it was almost completely empty but just about every new store was still open.

Parking is now a lot easier with a new six-story garage right off of Steven's Creek that goes underneath the expansion and has direct connections to the new Bloomingdales. Speaking of which, it's a true flagship department store with San Jose branding everywhere. Unfortunately I couldn't afford most of the cool things in there, it's more expensive than Nordstrom yet not quite as insane as Neiman Marcus. I did find my favorite clothing store near one of the two entrances of the expansion--Untuckit. This is the first one in San Jose. The expansion also includes Forward (premium doctor's office), Orangetheory Fitness, Bulgari, Cole Haan Grandshop, and a few ex-Santana Row brands such as Anthropologie, Pinkberry, and Urban Outfitters.

The new Santana Row-style outdoor concourse will feature a bunch of high-end restaurants including Maestro's. I have a feeling that they will get another Michelin-recommended restaurant or two this year. Din Thai Fung already has that rating. Salt & Straw is the only place open so far, but the ice cream was exceptional (Bone Marrow and Smoked Cherries... wow). I loved the interactive art on the walls near the entrances too.

They have five new stores focused on retail concepts. One had a bunch of cool Kickstarter projects in it and is similar to B8ta at Santana Row. Definitely worth checking out.

While not part of the expansion, I also finally got to try Ramen Nagi. Even with the Coronavirus, it still took an hour and 15min in line. Totally worth it, it was some of the best ramen I have ever had. It goes by faster than you think since you customize your food while waiting in the line and the food comes quickly once you get inside.

Once the virus boils over, this is hopefully going to drive a lot of extra tax revenue to San Jose. It's hands down the nicest mall in the Bay Area and they are making an effort to be more Santana Rowish with the outdoor space. I truly hate going to traditional malls, but this experience was way better than what I expected. I'll definitely be back to check out the new restaurants as they open.

Source: SVBJ

Monday, June 24, 2019

Quick look inside the Valley Fair expansion

The Silicon Valley Business Journal has given us a sneak peak into Valley Fair's $1.1 billion remodel and expansion. The mall is growing from 1.5 million SQFT to 2.2 million, making it by far the largest mall in Northern  California and the 15th largest in the US (If you were to count stores at Santana Row it would be the largest).

The expansion will bring flagship stores for Apple and Bloomindale's as well as other premium brands such as Jimmmy Choo, John Varvatos, UNTUCKit, and Gorjana. Double Eagle Steakhouse, Shake Shack, Salt & Straw, and SomiSomi are some of the new eateries. 80% of the expansion is already pre-leased. If you are concerned about parking, they just added another 1,200 space garage and optimized the new front entrance for car sharing/pooling, bikes, and pedestrians in mind (finally).

By pushing the mall outwards towards Stevens Creek and adding an outdoor paseo, they are doing their best to better connect to Santana Row. Inside the more traditional mall area, they are using a lot of high-end materials and leveraging natural light thanks to massive skylights.

The expansion will have its grand opening early next year, but I wouldn't be surprised if some of the 100 new stores did a soft opening before Christmas.

Source: SVBJ

Thursday, April 11, 2019

Living Spaces opening first San Jose store at Oakridge Mall

The Sears department store location at Westfield Oakridge officially has a successor. Living Spaces, a popular furniture gallery, will be taking 100,000 SQFT from the 140,000 SQFT two-story space. It will be their first store inside of a shopping center in the US--typically they are massive stand-alone stores similar to IKEA. It's not clear what Westfield Oakridge plans to do with the other 40,000 SQFT Sears is leaving behind.

This will be the very first Living Spaces in Santa Clara County. The closest one to San Jose today is in Fremont.

Source: SVBJ

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Eastridge remodel is complete

Last week Eastridge unveiled their latest refresh. This was my neighborhood mall back in the day and I'm glad to see it's still alive and well unlike some other malls in the area (Vallco, Sunnyvale Town Center, etc.).

The $15 million renovation adds grassy lawns with play areas, a new food court, upgraded finishes, beautiful murals celebrating San Jose, and new programming to make the mall more of a destination. New events include food struck popups, a weekly art experience, and even a dog-friendly social events called "Yappy Hour Forth Fridays."

They also have a few new stores like a 8,400 SQFT Toni & Guy salon, H&M, and an eatery called Trifecta Cooks which landed a free retail space by wining a cooking contest.

For more info and a full event list, head over to the Eastridge FB page.

Source: SJ Economy Blog

Monday, July 10, 2017

Valley Fair Expansion and Remodel

Last week the Silicon Valley Business Journal got a sneak peek at Westfield Valley Fair's epic $1.1 billion renovation. For perspective, that is nearly the same cost as Levi's Stadium and is more than the original budget for all of Santana Row.

The 650,000 SQFT expansion will add 160 new stores, 10 outdoor restaurants, a luxury ShowPlace ICON movie theater, outdoor event space, and a flagship Bloomingdale's. It also includes a design refresh for the entire interior of the mall as well as double the amount of current parking. The end goal is to build something that is iconic and draw shoppers from the whole Bay Area.

The renovation of the existing mall, the movie theater, and Bloomingdale's should be completed by Summer 2018. The rest of the expansion will open around April 2019.

Below are a few photos of the new sections. The outdoor area is a bit reminiscent of their neighbor--not a bad idea given Santana Row's success.

Source: SVBJ (subscription required for this article)

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

More details on the Valley Fair expansion

We have been waiting a long time for the repeatedly-delayed Valley Fair expansion, but now plans are getting very real. Westfield has a video showcasing the massive 624,000 SQFT expansion. I can't give you a direct link or embed it, but all you have to do is go to this page, and scroll down to the middle of the page.

The official price tag will clock in at a whopping $1.1 billion. Given it is one of the most profitable retail centers in the world, I'm sure that investment will pay off.

The video starts off with a lot of nice things to say about us as consumers:

The heart of Silicon Valley
#1 Wealthiest Metropolitan Area in the U.S.
#1 Highest Median Home Value in U.S.
#1 Center for Technology and Innovation in the World
#1 Fastest Growing County in U.S.
Highest Concentration of Millionaires and Billionaires in the U.S.
Hyper Educated
Hyper Entrepreneurial

Then it goes into some of the details...

624,000 SQFT Expansion
Upscale Cinemas
150 New Retail Shops
New Flagship Bloominddails
Luxury Vallet and Elegant Outdoor Dining

And then you get the posh renders of what is being planned. I grabbed a few images from the video, but recommend watching it to get the full effect.

Huge thanks to Joe Meduri for sending this in!

Friday, September 9, 2016

Sushirrito coming to Valley Fair

The original "sushi burrito" restaurant is opening their 7th location in San Jose, specifically the Valley Fair food court. They currently have four locations in San Francisco, one in Palo Alto, and one in Manhattan. The highly-rated fusion eatery should be open very soon, but I don't have an exact date. For more info, follow the Sushirrito Facebook page over here.

Thanks to Arnold Kwok for sending this in!