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A New $180M Facelift for the Old San Antonio Center

Curbside storefronts, green space and apartments could revitalize the regional shopping center.

? Gone. Endless rows of parking spots? Gone. ? Demolished and rebuilt with glass exteriors and moved up to the sidewalk. The old San Antonio Center sign? Replaced by a newer tower filled with signage announcing the new retailers, an outdoor seating area and adjacent storefronts that abut the sidewalk.

The Mountain View City Council's  mixed use development to replace the current 16.3 acres on the corner of El Camino Real and San Antonio Road will change the face of Mountain View for the next couple of decades.

The new center will have 88,000 sq. ft. of new commercial space for a total of 311,000 sq. ft. of leasable retail space. Add to the area 350 units of luxury rental housing in three separate building and green space.

The new households would provide shoppers for the retailers, which acknowledged would mean more sales tax for the city.

"There's no sales tax from residential," he said.

The development would also generate more property taxes for the , Los Altos School District and the .

Eager to join the new center, would move from California Street because according to store manager Natalie Mattei, the grocer's lease will expire soon and the leaseholder may "go in a non-grocery direction," which means that Safeway would close.

Also, Mattei added that as a result of the "dilapidation of the store," the Safeway has lost customers, which means the city losses sales tax. Safeway's new glass building will have rooftop and surface parking, the latter to be shared with the other retailers.

Improvements to the current center has been on the council's agenda as far back as the 1992 General Plan and small changes have been made throughout the years, including the addition of Walmart in 1994. However, the impetus to redevelop the land took hold with the General Plan 2030.

Included in the General Plan–and a big point of discussion during the several meetings about the plan–had been how to make the San Antonio Center more pedestrian and bike friendly.

Mountain View residents wanted and got wider sidewalks. But within the center, how pedestrians, bikes and cars would coexist is something developer Merlone Geier will work on with help from the bike/pedestrian advisory committees of the three adjacent cities—Mountain View, Los Altos and Palo Alto.

"I don’t mind people riding their bikes through this, but I do want it to be walkable," said Vice Mayor Mike Kasperzak. "This is still a suburban shopping center."

Another outcome of almost four-hour discussion on the night of June 14 included a look at how to add bike lanes on San Antonio Road to make it easier for Los Altos and Palo Alto bike riders to access the center.

While long lease agreements encumber the rest of the 40 acres of the San Antonio Shopping Center, expect future city councils to continue their attempt to gradually unify the center as stated in the Precise Plan.

According to developer Merlone Geier demolition could commence as early as next month. Construction is slated to begin Fall 2012.

Alvin Go February 20, 2013 at 01:42 AM
Any confirmation on Target moving over into the new shopping center once it's completed?
Claudia Cruz February 21, 2013 at 09:32 PM
Alvin, sorry for the tardy reply. I haven't heard anything still about Target. I've contacted the Bay Area Target real estate manager about your inquiry and will get back to you as soon as I have an answer. My hunch is that it isn't going anywhere. Why would it? It has a pretty good location with exclusive parking. I live close by and haven't noticed anything out of the ordinary.
Claudia Cruz February 21, 2013 at 11:35 PM
Just heard back from the real estate manager for the MV Target. He said that there aren't any plans to relocate. I'll keep you posted if anything changes.
Alvin Go February 28, 2013 at 03:37 PM
Thanks, Claudia! I remember Target was in discussions with the City of Mountain View a few years ago about doing a complete remodel of their store (to make it look similar to the new Sunnyvale store). Not sure what happened to those plans.
Victoria Doyle April 02, 2013 at 08:27 PM
Heads up!!! The new developer, Merlone Geier has plans to close The Milk Pail Market sometime in the near future. Please do not let this happen!! The long time community grocer is a much needed and welcome option vs big box style grocery stores that are taking over our neighborhoods. The market needs our support to help save them. There are signs posted in the market that will tell you where to email the Mt. View city council to keep the market from closing.

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