New Uses Sought for Fading Mountain View Mall – CBS San Francisco

MOUNTAIN VIEW (KPIX) – A leading shopping center in Mountain View may have a new tenant soon after an exodus of large retail stores left the property nearly vacant throughout the holiday season.

Last year, Bed Bath & Beyond, Best Buy, and REI all closed their stores at Charleston Plaza, located along Charleston Road and Highway 101.

“These are new and difficult times,” said Peter Katz, president and CEO of the Mountain View Chamber of Commerce.

The ongoing pandemic has disrupted consumer spending habits and behavior, forcing retailers to adapt as customers largely avoided physical stores and flocked to e-commerce sites.

REI moved the location from Mountain View to Sunnyvale, following the company’s $ 34 million loss in 2020.

At Best Buy, online sales have exploded, but the company still laid off 5,000 retail workers last year and has closed more than 60 stores since 2019.

Bed Bath & Beyond is close to completing the closure of 200 stores across the country this year.

Two Bay Area locations in Campbell and the Great Mall in Milpitas will be closed by the end of February.

“If you notice that a number of businesses have closed, closed a number of their stores, that’s not necessarily a Charleston Plaza problem,” Katz said.

“It’s unfortunate that we lost them, but we have an opportunity before us to repopulate the space as best we can,” said John Lang, responsible for economic vitality for the city of Mountain View.

According to Lang, who has been in discussions with the landlord, a new tenant may soon move in who would take advantage of the plot’s zoning for “light industry,” which includes research and development and light manufacturing.

“There is certainly a movement in the market on the industrial side. A little less movement on retail, commercial uses. So we’ll see where the market takes this conversation, but there was an intention to have it rented within the next six months, ”Lang said.

The vacant portion of the plot measures approximately six acres and the current building is approximately a quarter of a million square feet. The parcel is not zoned residential. Changing that would require “significant” efforts, including an amendment to the general city plan, Lang said.

Katz says the area hasn’t built decent housing over the years and we’re now “paying the price.” Katz supports a live-work-play approach to the redevelopment of Charleston Plaza.

“We don’t want to see just offices or retail or whatever. We want to see this integration of all these different facets, ”Katz said.

Edwin S. Wolfe