Restarting the Process
We introduced a vision to revitalize the deteriorating Vallco Shopping Mall in the heart of Cupertino in 2015. It was clear from the beginning that residents felt a revitalization of Vallco is necessary. In fact, almost all residents with whom we spoke supported some kind of revitalization at Vallco, understanding that retail-only malls are no longer sustainable
In early 2016, the project was forced to the ballot due to an initiative from a coalition of citizens looking to freeze the site as a retail-only property. The two contentious ballot measures debating the fate of the more than 58-acre mall swept the city in November 2016, but both were rejected by the voters.
In 2017, a series of city-sponsored expert panel discussions, called the “Creating Community Together Speaker Series”, looked at the current retail environment, the issues around housing availability and affordability, transportation and planning. The panelists concluded that the Vallco Mall can’t survive in its current form, and Cupertino is at the center of a region-wide housing crisis that can only be alleviated by immediate action by cities and developers alike. In addition, the panel confirmed that locating housing next to job centers not only mitigates but reduces traffic and that smart, well-located development, particularly at Vallco, can serve as a magnet for regional transit improvement projects. The conclusions of those discussions, and the community’s reception thereof, have encouraged Sand Hill Property Company to ask the City to restart the planning process.
On October 4, 2017, Sand Hill Property Company, the owner of Vallco Mall submitted a letter to City of Cupertino requesting to restart a community process on the future of Vallco.
In the letter, Sand Hill asks the City of Cupertino to initiate a process of developing a Specific Plan, along with an EIR, that evaluates both the Hills program as well as viable alternatives that consider increases in housing and reductions in the non-residential uses called for in the current General Plan.
With an added focus on housing, Sand Hill believes environmentally superior alternatives become available that would have a positive effect on affordability, traffic, and the overall quality of life in Cupertino and the greater region.