Westfield Valley Fair

Westfield Valley Fair, commonly known as Valley Fair, is a prominent shopping mall in San Jose, California, in Silicon Valley. Valley Fair is one of the largest malls in the United States and has the highest sales revenue of any mall in California.[3] It is located on Stevens Creek Boulevard in West San Jose (a small portion of the mall is located within Santa Clara). The anchor stores are 2 Macy's stores, Bloomingdale's, and Nordstrom.

Westfield Valley Fair
South Valet (cropped).jpg
South valet entrance
LocationSan Jose, California, USA
Address2855 Stevens Creek Boulevard
Opening date1986; 35 years ago (1986)
DeveloperThe Hahn Company
ManagementUnibail-Rodamco-Westfield
OwnerUnibail-Rodamco-Westfield
No. of stores and services236[1][2]
No. of anchor tenants4
Total retail floor area2,200,000 sq ft (200,000 m2)[2]
No. of floors2 (3 in Bloomingdale's, Nordstrom and Macy’s)
Parking8,500 [2]
Websitewww.westfield.com/valleyfair/

Valley Fair consists of 214 stores, such as the only Balenciaga in Northern California, and 58 dining options, such as Eataly or Din Tai Fung, ranked as one of the world's best restaurants by the New York Times.

HistoryEdit

 
Flagship Apple store.

Westfield Valley Fair is unique in that it replaced two separate 1950s-era shopping centers. The original Valley Fair Shopping Center, opened in 1956, was confined to the eastern side of the property in San Jose. It was developed and anchored by Macy's and included roughly 40 other stores including Joseph Magnin in an outdoor plaza. At the western side was another outdoor shopping center, Stevens Creek Plaza in Santa Clara. It was anchored by The Emporium and I. Magnin. For that reason, the current mall contributes sales tax revenues to both the cities of San Jose and Santa Clara, and is regulated by both city governments.

In 1986, both centers were acquired and merged into one two-level enclosed mall by The Hahn Company, creating one of the most successful shopping centers in the country, called simply "Valley Fair". Nordstrom joined later in 1987, with I. Magnin closing its store in 1992. The former Emporium store became a second Macy's location in 1996, housing Macy's Men's & Home Store. The former I. Magnin housed a succession of tenants, its final one being Sports Authority, before being demolished and replaced by a Showplace ICON cinema in 2019.

 
The south luxury cluster has stores like Tiffany & Co, Versace, and Gucci.
 
The north luxury cluster includes store like Cartier, Prada, and Burberry.

In 1998, Westfield America, Inc., a predecessor of the Westfield Group and The Rouse Company acquired Valley Fair jointly from Hahn. Westfield bought out Rouse in 1999 and brought in an institutional investment partner to share its investment risk in this high-profile property. In 1998 the property was renamed Westfield Shoppingtown Valley Fair. Westfield discontinued the "Shoppingtown" moniker in 2005.

The mall commenced a $165 million two-phase expansion project in 2001, which began with the addition of a new second-level Dining Terrace, 80 new stores, three multi-level parking garages, and the relocation of the property's Nordstrom store to a new three-level, 230,000 square-foot store to the northwest of its original store.[4] Phase Two brought the redevelopment of the former Nordstrom store and food court into an additional 30 stores, including a wing of shops facing the bordering Forest Avenue, and the addition of a Cheesecake Factory restaurant.[5]

A major remodel of the center commenced in 2013, bringing the mall a revamped "Dining Terrace" with local concepts alongside national chains, and a major reshuffling of tenants.[6] Nordstrom was extensively remodeled, adding two new restaurant concepts and a completely revamped store design.[4] The mall's lower level Nordstrom wing was reconfigured into a "Luxury Collection", with new luxury tenants like Balenciaga, Mulberry, Saint Laurent Paris, Bottega Veneta, Versace, Giorgio Armani, Tory Burch, Salvatore Ferragamo, and Prada joining existing tenants Louis Vuitton and Tiffany & Co..[7]

In 2012, San Jose raised its minimum wage to $10 USD an hour, but Santa Clara did not, leading to what the NPR Planet Money team dubbed "A Mall Divided," where workers on one side of the mall were being paid $2 less than the other side. A Gap clothing store located on the two city lines was required to either account for how long its employees spent in each city or raise its wages for all employees to the San Jose minimum wage; they chose to raise the wages.[8]

ExpansionEdit

 
Outdoor restaurant plaza.
 
The San Jose location of Din Tai Fung, ranked as one of the world's best restaurants by the New York Times.

In 2007 Westfield announced major expansion plans which would increase the gross leaseable area to over 2,000,000 square feet (190,000 m2), adding anchor stores Bloomingdale's and Neiman Marcus, 100 shops, and a 3000 space parking structure. Westfield was granted approval for the expansion by the city of San Jose in November 2007.[9] It was to be completed by September 2011.[10]

In Spring of 2015, Westfield unveiled a new proposal for a $1.1 billion expansion, which called for the addition of a three-level 150,000 square foot Bloomingdale's department store,[11] a Showplace ICON luxury cinema,[12] and the addition 500,022 square feet of new interior shop space, adding over 100 new stores,[3] including an outdoor restaurant collection fronting Stevens Creek Boulevard, and 3,000+ new parking spaces.[13]

The expansion and Bloomingdale's had its grand opening on March 5, 2020.[14] Several retailers opened in the months following the expansion, including relocated and larger Apple and Tiffany & Co. flagship retail stores,[15] with a planned 51,000 square-foot Eataly Italian marketplace scheduled to open in 2021.[16]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Westfield Valley Fair". www.westfield.com.
  2. ^ a b c "Westfield Valley Fair". Westfield Group. Retrieved 2020-03-05.
  3. ^ a b "Inside Westfield's big plans for its $600M Valley Fair expansion (renderings)". www.bizjournals.com.
  4. ^ a b "Nordstrom Valley Fair getting fresh new look". www.bizjournals.com.
  5. ^ "Thirty new stores wrap up Valley Fair mall's expansion". www.bizjournals.com.
  6. ^ "Here is what Westfield Valley Fair's new 'dining terrace' will look like". www.bizjournals.com.
  7. ^ "Balenciaga, Armani, and More: A Luxury Wing in Westfield Valley Fair". hauteliving.com.
  8. ^ "Episode 562: A Mall Divided". NPR. 2014-08-22.
  9. ^ "Valley Fair plans expansion". East Bay Times. 2008-08-15.
  10. ^ "Bloomingdale's, Neiman Marcus to open stores at Valley Fair in 2011". The Mercury News. 2008-09-11.
  11. ^ "Update: Bloomingdale's revives Westfield's Valley Fair expansion plans — but questions abound". www.bizjournals.com. Retrieved 2021-01-15.
  12. ^ "Westfield Valley Fair in line for ultra upscale home store, movie theater?". www.bizjournals.com.
  13. ^ US, Westfield (2020-03-05). "WESTFIELD VALLEY FAIR EXPANSION OPENS REIMAGINED SHOPPING DESTINATION IN THE HEART OF SILICON VALLEY". GlobeNewswire News Room. Retrieved 2020-06-03.
  14. ^ "Here's when Bloomingdale's will open at Westfield Valley Fair". The Mercury News. 2020-02-06.
  15. ^ "Apple agrees to big flagship store at San Jose's Westfield Valley Fair mall". www.bizjournals.com.
  16. ^ "Eataly to Open First Bay Area Location in San Jose". SFist - San Francisco News, Restaurants, Events, & Sports. 2019-12-18.

External linksEdit

Coordinates: 37°19′30″N 121°56′33″W / 37.325095°N 121.942508°W / 37.325095; -121.942508