News

Pleasanton: City approves plan to redesign old Sears side of Stoneridge Mall

Owner wants to bring in movie theater, grocery store, health club, retail and more; construction timeline unclear

Initial architectural drawing shows overhead look at proposed renovations for the eastern side of Pleasanton's Stoneridge Shopping Center, replacing the now-vacated Sears site. (Image courtesy of Simon Property Group)

Stoneridge Shopping Center is on track to receive its first major renovation in nearly 15 years.

The Pleasanton Planning Commission last week unanimously approved design plans from Simon Property Group to demolish the now-vacant Sears building and parking garage the company owns at the mall and replace them with a movie theater, grocery store, a lifestyle health club, an outdoor courtyard, and new retail and restaurants.

City officials said it's unclear when Simon will begin work on the revitalization project. For now, the former Sears site on the eastern edge of the mall remains empty and appears largely untouched since the department store shut down in January.

When asked to comment on the forthcoming renovations and the construction timeline, a Stoneridge spokesperson said, "As we continue to advance the transformation of the former Sears site at Stoneridge Shopping Center, there are a number of factors at play. Since city approval was only recently granted, it is too early to share specifics."

Under the now-approved design application, Simon proposes to demolish the 176,000-square-foot former Sears storefront and 1,189-stall parking garage and replace them with almost 256,000 square feet of new multi-use retail and recreation space.

The additions would include three new buildings for retail stores, with exterior walkways connecting to both floors of the mall.

A fourth new building would include space for a 23,000-square-foot specialty grocery market and two restaurants on the ground floor and a roughly 40,000-square-foot movie theater on the second floor.

The final new building would feature a 125,000-square-foot lifestyle fitness facility with a restaurant space, adjacent to Stoneridge Mall Road. Simon officials told the city they are still working to secure a health club tenant, and if that falls through, they are interested in pursuing a possible hotel in that building instead -- though a hotel switch would require separate review by the City Council.

Other key aspects of Simon's proposal include adding back only 110 street-level parking spaces -- resulting in a net reduction of 1,104 spots at the mall, with the loss of the Sears garage -- as well as closing off six of the nine driveway openings onto Stoneridge Mall Road.

The planning commissioners, confirming the early support of the concept with minor design modifications they expressed during a public workshop on the proposal two months ago, voted 4-0 to give final approval to Simon's project on April 24, with Chair Nancy Allen absent from the meeting.

All told, Simon project would represent the first major renovation at the 40-year-old mall since the Cheesecake Factory and P.F. Chang's restaurants were built in 2005.

There is no new housing contemplated as part of the current project. It is unclear whether this is a one-off redevelopment, or if Simon officials have other projects planned to revitalize the mall site.

But the City Council did acknowledge the speculation arising with other Stoneridge buildings, including those not owned by Simon, by adding a Stoneridge Mall planning framework to its new two-year work plan.

The priority project for city staff is described as "based on redevelopment interest in the Stoneridge Mall area, develop a planning framework that outlines the community's expectations, allowed uses and public amenities."

Stoneridge Shopping Center renovations, when they begin, will be the latest example of construction along Stoneridge Mall Road southwest of the I-580/I-680 interchange. The marquee project in the area so far is the new Workday headquarters building and associated public improvements, which are nearly completed.

"The expansion of the Workday campus, and the new joint police service center will be opening in the coming weeks, and we are very excited to see the final product of a successful public/private partnership," City Manager Nelson Fialho told the Weekly.

"This project has served as a catalyst that has initiated a series of redevelopment proposals in the surrounding area including the Stoneridge Shopping Center which will expand the center with new retail, a movie theater, grocery store and fitness facility," he added.

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Comments

17 people like this
Posted by Grumpy
a resident of Vineyard Avenue
on May 1, 2019 at 11:31 am

Grumpy is a registered user.

Not sure this is a smart move. There are already too many theaters in the area, as well as adequate gym capacity. Losing the garage and the shade it brings in summer or rain proofing in winter is also pretty dumb: most malls now endeavor to add garage capacity, not remove it. But Simon never really had a commitment to secure the garage so I suppose that is a part of the reasoning.

The bigger problem is that Simon failed to retain Williams Sonoma, nor attract any other reasonable mid to high end name. I'm not sure why that happened, and would love to know, but I suspect that Stoneridge is no longer considered a top property. Given that decline, which they don't seem to be able to reverse in light of the relocations and the fall off in quality in department stores, I'm not really sure what they can do.

I just wish we had more reporting on what specifically is causing Stoneridge's decline vis-a-vis City Center and Broadway Plaza.


9 people like this
Posted by Liz
a resident of Canyon Meadows
on May 1, 2019 at 4:12 pm

A grocery store?? In the mall? That is just strange. Anyone know what high end grocery store that will be?


20 people like this
Posted by May
a resident of Del Prado
on May 1, 2019 at 5:56 pm

Less parking spaces just force us to do more on line shopping.


6 people like this
Posted by James Michael
a resident of Val Vista
on May 1, 2019 at 7:20 pm

James Michael is a registered user.

Make a construction zone and kill business at Nordstrom...and what are they planning for the JC Penney site when that store bellies up. The mall concept is dead except at Christmas time.


2 people like this
Posted by Michael Austin
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on May 1, 2019 at 8:05 pm

Michael Austin is a registered user.

I predict they go for the hotel, it is a greater revenue generator verses a health club tenant.


13 people like this
Posted by tim
a resident of Carriage Gardens
on May 2, 2019 at 9:18 am

could not costco be placed there?


13 people like this
Posted by Charlie
a resident of Laguna Oaks
on May 2, 2019 at 9:49 am

So where does everyone park with all this new stuff being built? They remove parking and expect what? This seems like a big flaw in the plan. Adequate parking needs to be part of the new plan or the neighboring parking at Nordstrom will never have a single space.


8 people like this
Posted by Lin
a resident of Downtown
on May 2, 2019 at 9:53 am

I agree with Tim. We desperately need a Costco.......forget the movie theater.


9 people like this
Posted by mdc
a resident of Downtown
on May 2, 2019 at 10:43 am

I totally agree with Charlie, are patrons going to float down on drones to access
the services that are being added? Losing 1000 parking spaces for this addition
of the Stoneridge Mall is hard to understand. What with Workday expanding and Bart
on Stoneridge Mall Rd already, the quagmire of cars and people all in the area at
once is going to create a disaster of gridlock.
Besides Simon properties benefitting from this project I see a complete
negative result for the patrons of the Mall and the public using BART.


12 people like this
Posted by been there
a resident of Del Prado
on May 2, 2019 at 10:45 am

Actually we don't need either a movie arcade/theater or a Costco, both low end businesses. The derelect shopping mall adjacent to Stoneridge Mall is what concerns me. JC Penney home store is nearly vacant, all the other stores on that side are totally vacant and have been for some time. Now THAT would be a prime site for Costco, or a high end grocery store (not Walmart) or a fitness center. But I'll guess that Simon doesn't own that property. WHen will our Planning Department plan for the future and even current needs of the whole area instead of knee jerk reactions to demands by developers?
Unfortunately, there are no high-end stores at the Mall except Nordstrom. It's like an arcade in there with all the hawkers in the center of the mall. Not a very pleasant experience.
Williams Sonoma and shops like that are moving to eleite malls with plenty of parking and ACCESS, like Dublin is creating. (Think Sur le Table and Whole Foods at Persimmon Plaza). We keep losing oportunities for thhis type of mid-highend retail where people actually shop and spend money. But we now have the Pacific Pearl to pick up the slack on that end of town. Just what we need; more fast food and low quality retail.
May has it right about forcing business online. And reducing the available parking ANYWHERE in Pleasanton is simply irrational.
I hope the City will demand improved and widened access roads for rush time traffic to the fitness center after work and after school. It's already a nightmare over there at peak times (when a BART train arrives/ departs, or emergency vehicles try to exit).
Please start THINKING about what the actual outcomes will be and not just the pie in the sky tax revenues the City MIGHT see some day down the road.


Like this comment
Posted by sjd
a resident of Livermore
on May 2, 2019 at 11:13 am

Wider roads and more (subsidized free) parking never solves traffic, because people who today avoid the traffic no longer do and the overall delay is the same. The only solution is alternative modes.


16 people like this
Posted by Poor Planning AGAIN- Kill Parking and Entrances?
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 2, 2019 at 11:29 am

The Planning is apparently being done by the same people* who approved the reduction of lanes on Owens Dr, across from the BARTD ("No Parking after 6AM") Station, from 3 lanes to 1, to benefit a developer. Otherwise the parking would be on land that is now tenements and empty ground floor retail.


*Can we get the person who approved that fired,
or make them pay to put the lanes back?
Editor: how about a follow up on that, they promised to revisit the issue,
or was that just more lack of integrity?

Really Dumb to eliminate parking, and even worse to tear down a covered garage! When it is crowded time is wasted looking for an empty spot, and then a long hike to the mall-why?

Closing off existing entrances will make getting in and out harder, and result in lines to get to the main road when leaving.



For those who say Costco is "low end", consider this:
When the Livermore Costco opened years ago they did over $100 million a year in sales.
Since the city gets sales tax on that (1% of gross) Livermore gets about a million dollars of that!



3 people like this
Posted by sjd
a resident of Livermore
on May 2, 2019 at 12:02 pm

I advocated to keep Owens drive the way it is, because it is safer for cyclists and pedestrians. It's not only greedy developers.

As the area around the station develops (it's coming, whether Pleasanton wants to or not), those retail spaces will fill. The data does not back up the anecdotes that the Owens reconfiguration is a huge issue for car delay, and has increased safety for those using the trail. BART is already building another parking garage.

The Stoneridge mall parking lot didn't even fill up on Black Friday. Crowded? Yes indeed. Full? No.


2 people like this
Posted by No Name
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 2, 2019 at 12:27 pm

How about a Nugget Market or Berkeley Bowl both are high-quality grocery stores.


12 people like this
Posted by Robert
a resident of Mission Park
on May 2, 2019 at 12:36 pm

What in the world are they thinking? Even if you did want to go to these new places, where are you going to park?
No wonder online shopping has become so popular. Sometimes I wonder where this city's planning commission has their head stuck. Probably up the south end of the developers torso.


5 people like this
Posted by The Unknown Pleasantonian
a resident of Downtown
on May 2, 2019 at 12:40 pm

Since when did they put the PUSD in charge of this project? Sorry. Couldn’t resist


6 people like this
Posted by Map
a resident of Del Prado
on May 2, 2019 at 1:36 pm

@sjd. Bart isn’t building that new parking garage, alameda county is going to build it and it’s not set in stone if it’s going to be all parking or parking and retail and who is going to be allowed to park there.
Can’t believe the city is allowing the reduction of 1100 parking spots, last I heard that was way below the minimum required for a mall of that size?? Bowing to the deep pocket developers once again.
Time to change the city’s logo to maybe something t like “Pleasanton” A City Built And Run By Developers!


8 people like this
Posted by @ No Name
a resident of Ponderosa
on May 2, 2019 at 1:50 pm

I've been to both those stores, and they are GREAT.

I always stop at The Nugget in Vacaville on the return trip from Tahoe.

Problem is...

High End = High Cost

This type of store will not make it in Pleasasnton.

Had a GREAT high-end store (New Leaf)...did not make it


3 people like this
Posted by wrong headline
a resident of Bonde Ranch
on May 2, 2019 at 1:53 pm

City has NOT approved this project.

Planning commission approval is not City Approval.

City Approval would indicate that the City Council has approved.

It has not.

Deceptive headline


11 people like this
Posted by Ellen
a resident of Valley Trails
on May 2, 2019 at 2:44 pm

BAD IDEA! Been here 20 years. No longer use the mall. Parking too dangerous as it is. Less spots means parking so far away the robberies will increase. POOR PLANNING!


Like this comment
Posted by James Michael
a resident of Val Vista
on May 2, 2019 at 7:17 pm

James Michael is a registered user.

@wrong headline...

Is the Planning Commission a separate entity? I think they are part of the city, just like PUSD, PPD, LFPD and all of the other divisions and departments are part of the city. Therefore, the city approves until they disapprove.


Like this comment
Posted by sjd
a resident of Livermore
on May 2, 2019 at 7:28 pm

@Map,

What is “minimum?” As defined by our planning standards.

Because minimum by many US standards is more than what is used on Black Friday. An unnecessary subsidy towards pollution.


Like this comment
Posted by wrong headline
a resident of Ponderosa
on May 2, 2019 at 8:51 pm

@ James Michael

Actually...the Planning Commission IS NOT technically part of City Government or a division/dept of the City.

The Planning Commission consists of volunteers who are appointed by the Mayor. Their primary function is to review and vet applications (along with other commissions), and to ADVISE the City Council.

In the same vein...the Downtown Specific Plan "Task Force" currently evaluating and drafting a revision to the current DSP is NOT part of the City. You will note that any work resulting from the DSP is clearly labeled "DRAFT".

Same can be said for applications approved by the Planning Commission. Technically it is a draft, and the City Council often makes changes to the "draft" before voting to approve or reject.

So those who are happy or un-happy with this "draft" should direct their opinions to the City Council.

In conclusion...a very mis-leading headline.


Like this comment
Posted by Bill
a resident of Pleasanton Heights
on May 3, 2019 at 1:32 am

Nice! I like the idea. I'm happy to see the site transformed to meet a new age. This is something my kids would like more than a Steven Spielberg 80's mall.


8 people like this
Posted by Jeremy Walsh, editor
associate editor
on May 3, 2019 at 11:24 am

Jeremy Walsh, editor is a registered user.

To clarify comments from Wrong headline and James Michael:
The city's Planning Commission does have final decision-making authority on certain types of projects, including this design review application from Simon Property Group. In other situations, the Planning Commission does only make recommendations to the City Council as an advisory body, but there are other specific situations as described by city code where the Planning Commission is the final vote (in those cases, the application would only be forwarded to the City Council if an appeal is filed). In this case, the commission's approval of the design review application represents the final decision of the city.


5 people like this
Posted by Grumpy
a resident of Vineyard Avenue
on May 3, 2019 at 3:50 pm

Grumpy is a registered user.

Would have been nice to have known that in advance, so that some of us could have shown up and spoken out against it.


4 people like this
Posted by buklau
a resident of Avila
on May 3, 2019 at 7:07 pm

Thank goodness for Amazon.com !


2 people like this
Posted by Ben J.
a resident of Birdland
on May 3, 2019 at 9:00 pm

Ben J. is a registered user.

sjd keeps referring to parking spaces as subsidized. Didn't know a private parking lot was subsidized. What is subsidized is what he/she is promoting; subsidized 'public' buses, subsidized BART. Neither of which would be around if they were privately owned businesses.


4 people like this
Posted by sjd
a resident of Livermore
on May 4, 2019 at 11:09 am

Ben J.

Well, you've hit my pet peeve. No.

Subsidies can be hidden.
If parking is not subsidized, then why are we arguing about what a private developer is allowed to do if they think they don't need the parking?

We only build huge highways because we subsidize roads over transit in the first place. The total subsidies of roads and road maintenance dwarfs our transit system, even after gas tax. If you subsidize highways, then that leads direct to subsidies to keep transit running as well. They go hand in hand. BART has a higher % covered by fares than roads are covered by gas tax, even with their inefficient operation.

You also miss that there are costs of pollution and costs of accidents borne by the government and distributed to everyone no matter how much they drive.


Like this comment
Posted by sjd
a resident of Livermore
on May 4, 2019 at 11:13 am

Also, I don't know about "keeps."

We are breaking across threads here, but there is obviously direct subsidy in the public garages people are calling for downtown, and subsidy required for BART parking too. Do you deny that those are publicly subsidized?


5 people like this
Posted by Confused
a resident of Stoneridge
on May 4, 2019 at 3:42 pm

Does anyone know why our mall has become so low end? We are losing so many high end names, and cheap 10 dollar stores are coming in to stay, while others come and go

I live in the Stoneridge neighborhood and worry about crime with a movie theater! Too many people, coming in from else where to cause crime.

Is there anything us residents can do at this point to speak up against the plans?

Thank you.


8 people like this
Posted by Wow
a resident of Birdland
on May 5, 2019 at 7:16 am

The answer to your question is diversity you reap what you sow want more parking in Pleasanton? In California? In America? Dont let 25 million illegals into your country, state, town, and growing and expect parkkng,traffic,healthcare,schools etc to improve not gonna happen
Oh yea and housing. People who dont care about following the laws dont care about you. Thanks diversity


4 people like this
Posted by BobB
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 5, 2019 at 3:11 pm

BobB is a registered user.

@Wow,

My opinion is that Trump caused all the parking problems.


4 people like this
Posted by Frustrated
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on May 6, 2019 at 11:17 pm

Same dumb people who took the lanes from Owens. Yes please, fire these people. They're probably the same ones who are preventing Costco from coming here and who shot down the Sharks Ice Rink. Pleasanton is going down-- at the hands of people who are obviously getting their pockets lined with money. Either that or they just aren't very smart people making these decisions.

Just pathetic.


2 people like this
Posted by "Don't Bother me with Facts- My Mind's Made Up?"
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 8, 2019 at 11:20 am

@sjd appears to be anti automobile, anti parking, and anti people (unless maybe you are a bicycle person?)

I takes about 5 minutes to drive from most parts of Pleasanton to the Pleasanton BARTD station, but usually then you cannot park.

To try to take a bus usually takes maybe 45 minutes if you are lucky, between waiting for it to arrive, and stopping at every stop.

sjd- why do you think this is a better solution?

In Chicago, there's a bus every 3 to 5 minutes on major streets only 8 blocks apart- public transportation is better suited when it works like that in a city.

BARTD originally promised adequate free parking, (and a seat for every rider)
but builds apartment houses on land they took using transit money and by eminent domain. These buildings (and more to come?) take away the already inadequate parking lots, and add more cars for the residents.

And BARTD refused $20 million dollars allocated to build the parking structure that now Alameda County hopefully will build next door.
Obviously BARTD does not understand reality in outlying areas, or they do not care.

AND they refused to keep their promise to build the track and station to Livermore, even though they took the money from both sales taxes and real estate, and state and federal sources to build it.
They even gave away the right of way down the freeway, and tried to sell off the land in Livermore they already own for the station.
The so called "extension" is now in the hands of a different transportation agency - do they get the tax money too?

But at the time, BARTD claimed parking in Pleasanton did not need to be provided as an End Of The Line Station, based on the missing Livermore station.


1 person likes this
Posted by sjd
a resident of Livermore
on May 8, 2019 at 9:14 pm

@Don't bother me with Facts

Rant time, you ready?

Your facts just ain't so.

"anti people"
Wait, what? I dislike subsidized parking so I hate people?

I am not anti-car - my mother has MS and has to use a car now. Biking gave her a lot more time out of a wheelchair than any doctor expected, though.

I am anti-pollution. Pro-sustainability. Pro-housing. Pro-biking and pro-multimobility, yes. You could say anti-"car-dependent" environments, perhaps.

"a bus usually takes maybe 45 minutes if you are lucky,"
No, it does not. Buses come every 15 minutes on weekdays to Pleasanton between 5am and 7:30pm. It takes 27 minutes to BART from my house in downtown Livermore including the walk time, and I've taken it enough times during rush to know it doesn't take 45. Do buses run behind? Sure. But they run behind because LAVTA isn't doing enough to get them out of car traffic, like successful agencies do.

And you know what the number one delay is for the buses here? It's Meadowlark dairy - yes, cars in the way. Wheels is already adding more queue jumps for the 10R route and activating them in the next few months, so this time will improve further. And speeding them up even more doesn't cost tens or hundreds of millions of dollars like a parking garage does - some improvements could be free, even.

"BARTD originally promised adequate free parking, (and a seat for every rider)
but builds apartment houses on land they took using transit money and by eminent domain."

The promises of the 70's were false, like the promises of ever expanding highways and infinite parking. Those things aren't realistic in the 21st century. They build housing because we need to increase the supply of housing, and this is the least impactful way to do so.

"And BARTD refused $20 million dollars allocated to build the parking structure that now Alameda County hopefully will build next door."
Yeah because BART has a policy against spending any money on garages, because per dollar, they are *terrible* at attracting new ridership, and they tend to take people off existing buses and bikes instead of freeing up space for new riders. No surprise. They even tried to play ball with an automated garage with more space for less money, using the rest on better transit and bike access, but the politicos wanted their garage so the County did the work.

"add more cars for the residents."
Let's start with the idea that California's housing prices are insane, and the state is coming in to force people to build. You will have less cars for the same number of units if you build at BART and near transit. You will have less water use than sprawl. You will get more affordable housing per dollar. So the way I see it, you actually get less cars than the alternative.

"AND they refused to keep their promise to build the track and station to Livermore"

Darn right, it was a $1.6B boondoggle that would have had the most expensive costs per rider added of any metro expansion in recent memory. The station design was bad. The transit connections were bad. Another station standing around freeway fumes - bad. Amount of housing added - poor. You know other places were also promised BART stations? West SF, Antioch, and Alameda, all of which have far more benefit per dollar spent, and none of which have a full BART station. It was Livermore's decision to keep BART limited to 580, and the ACBofSups decision to add the express lanes and insist they be kept after the fact (meaning BART would need to pay to expand almost every overpass on the route), which dramatically reduced the cost-effectiveness of an extension.

"They even gave away the right of way down the freeway"
They factually did not, the Alameda County Board of Supervisors / ACTC made the express lanes. This is not the same thing as BART.

"The so called "extension" is now in the hands of a different transportation agency - do they get the tax money too?"
The money that BART had reserved in an account for this purpose was handed over to the county and to Valley Link. Valley Link is trying for a standard gauge rail line to reduce cost - and it might actually work. Then you might actually have costs in line with something reasonable.

You don't have to agree with the premises I hold. You aren't forced to think that climate change or housing prices are a problem. You may still not want housing near BART, or a new garage in downtown, despite these facts. But you aren't entitled to tell me what I stand for.


Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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