Photo By: Photos by Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
The Village at San Antonio Center, left and below, takes shape as a mixed-use development combining retail, housing and office space. The Mountain View project recently received recognition for its design.
The Silicon Valley/San Jose Business Journal 2012 Structures Awards recognized The Village at San Antonio Center as Best Mixed-Use Project of the Year. The project replaces the 1950s-era shopping mall at the corner of El Camino Real and San Antonio Road in Mountain View.
The $250 million mixed-use project, which Merlone Geier Partners broke ground on in September 2011, is expected to transform and refresh a large part of the aging retail center formerly home to Sears. The project is spearheading further redevelopment in the rest of the 56-acre retail center, also undergoing a major renovation.
The first phase of Merlone Geier’s project will add 318,000 square feet of retail space to the center, which could generate an additional $1.2 million in sales and property taxes for the city.
The initial project includes a 65,000-square-foot Safeway grocery store, 330 apartment units in three towers, a 175,000-square-foot building to be split among a few large retailers, and assorted smaller shops and restaurants. Several small shops will flank a plaza space at the corner of El Camino Real and San Antonio.
“You’re taking an old shopping center and completely updating it,” said Mike Grehl, project partner with Merlone Geier. “It’s an excellent in-fill redevelopment project. We think it adds a lot of value to the city and will provide residents with something unique.”
Completion of the first of the residential buildings is scheduled in March, with Safeway opening in May or June. The first phase should be completed in early 2014.
Grehl, who also serves as in-house counsel for the project, said the company plans a grand opening in late spring or summer.
The massive development has some in Los Altos concerned about the impact on business, traffic and schools.
In a Town Crier Letter to the Editor this week (see page 8), Mark Starr of Los Altos expressed concern that children in the new development would reside within Los Altos School District boundaries and could boost student enrollment significantly.
Others involved with downtown Los Altos, long known as “the village,” wonder whether The Village at San Antonio will draw customers from a downtown that is just starting to turn the corner economically, based on a recent uptick in sales-tax revenues.
For more information, visit www.thevillagesanantoniocenter.com.