? 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.