Construction at Vallco
Demolition at Vallco is underway! Demolition of Vallco Shopping Mall began in October 2018, to prepare the site for future construction of an exciting town center project known as Vallco Town Center. The Vallco Town Center will bring a dynamic mixed-use, mixed-income downtown hub to Cupertino. In addition to new housing, retail and office spaces, this project will include a signature 30-acre elevated park, two town-center plazas, and a vibrant shopping, dining and entertainment district.
OUR GOOD NEIGHBOR PROGRAM
While we are very excited to be moving forward, we recognize that this activity will have an impact on our neighbors close to the site. Sand Hill Property Company takes very seriously our responsibility to manage the impacts of demolition and construction activity and to comply with the law, and we will do everything possible to minimize disruption for our neighbors during this process. We adhere to the most stringent state and local construction and demolition requirements and best practices. From dust mitigation, material recycling and onsite reuse, to traffic control that keeps streets open and manages truck routes and schedules, to overall construction hours that don’t unnecessarily disrupt your evenings and weekends, we are taking important measures to limit inconvenience and disturbance.
To keep you informed going forward, we plan to provide advance notice and regular updates of our demolition and construction activity whenever possible, and to maintain multiple communication channels to keep you informed and allow you to reach us directly. We model this plan per industry best practices and after the most successful outreach efforts we have observed by other local projects.
- We ask that you sign up to our mailing list at firstname.lastname@example.org; by doing this you will receive all of the information we will be putting out to the community.
- We also post updates on this website, so check in from time to time.
- The City of Cupertino also hosts a lot of information about our project on their website, including the volumes of environmental reports we have submitted (which reside toward the end of their Vallco Town Center/SB 35 FAQ).
- Finally, for urgent situations, we have established a 24-hour hotline should anything arise and you feel the need to make quick and direct contact – that number is 408-659-2455.
While we will make every effort to provide advance notice, there may be extraordinary circumstances that require us to take immediate actions to ensure the safety of construction personnel and the public. We will do our best to communicate any changes as timely as possible when these circumstances present themselves.
Demolition Update 1/21/2021
The next phase of construction at Vallco Town Center is set to begin in the latter part of January and will take roughly 6 months to complete. This phase will consist of “make-ready” utility work, as previously approved by the City. There are many benefits of this work, including:
- Upsizing the sanitary sewer main on site, providing surge capacity during large storms;
- Upgrading underground high voltage facilities to current standards and with future expansion capacity;
- Replacing older public water main infrastructure with new materials that meet current codes; and
- Removing and replacing old and damaged retaining walls that support the Perimeter Road tunnel structure under Wolfe Road.
Existing utilities that now crisscross the old mall site to the edges of the property will be relocated to make way for the future underground parking garage. As part of this, you may notice some work taking place near property lines, including the removal of some of the trees on the “mall side” of the Perimeter Road trail (not the trees lining the wall). The removal of these trees was approved in 2018 and is necessary to ensure the safety of workers and neighbors as we dig near the tree line to lay new power lines.
Sand Hill Property Company takes our responsibility to minimize the impacts of demolition and construction activity and to comply with the law very seriously, and we will do everything possible to minimize disruption during this demolition and construction process. Scheduled construction hours are Monday – Friday from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Our crews will endeavor to complete work adjacent to neighboring properties by 5 p.m. and complete this phase of construction on an expedited timeline.
Our commitment to you:
- We will adhere to stringent requirements and precautions imposed by State, County, and local regulations around demolition and construction.
- We will provide advance notice and, as applicable, regular updates of our demolition and construction activity, whenever possible.
Demolition Update 4/13/2020
Demolition of the bridge spanning Wolfe Road was completed per plan and on schedule, and Wolfe Road reopened on Tuesday to through traffic.
Over the nine days of demolition, through close partnership with the City of Cupertino and several other public agencies, including Caltrans, VTA, the County Health Department and the CDC, we successfully removed the bridge as well as the center and west support structures. Work off to the side of the road continues as we clean up the sidewalks and edges of the mall building, but the work affecting traffic is complete.
Our team has documented our activities throughout the process so that those interested could experience the demolition work from the comfort of your own homes. The video summary of the work is enclosed below.
We pursued this work in full compliance with evolving county and state regulations, which have deemed ongoing construction of housing (which included at least 10 percent of its units designated as affordable) as an ‘essential’ activity and exempt from the shelter-in-place orders. Vallco Town Center will deliver 2,402 units of housing stock to Cupertino, 50 percent of which will be affordable for low and very low income households.
Closing Wolfe Road and completing the bridge demolition now while community activity is limited reduced impacts on residents and local businesses and kept construction workers and city inspectors employed at a time of economic crisis when sadly many are being furloughed or laid off. We are proud of the important role development can play in employing a community and providing critical revenue to cities and counties.
We are grateful to our construction partners for accomplishing this work in a skillful, efficient, and safe manner. Our team adhered to local and regional protocols around social distancing and jobsite protective measures, including cleaning, disinfecting, using appropriate Personal Protective Equipment and other precautionary measures. The entire Vallco Town Center team understands the importance of these protocols during this public health emergency. We will continue to keep the community updated about our progress.
Demolition Update – 3/27/2020
Demolition of the bridge that currently spans N. Wolfe Road is set to begin on Monday, March 30 at 7 a.m., running until approximately 8 p.m. on Tuesday, April 7. Daytime construction hours will be weekdays, 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. and weekends, 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
No off ramp closures from I-280 are expected. Throughout the closure, Perimeter Road at Vallco Town Center will be open for detours, with the road’s tunnel underneath Wolfe Road available for east-west traffic movement. Signage will help direct drivers to detour routes.
See below for a map of detour routes:
Our demolition work complies with the shelter at home orders currently in effect in our county and our state. Both orders exempt construction workers and construction sites for housing construction projects like Vallco Town Center. To see a list of exemptions from Governor Newsom’s order, click here. To see a list of FAQs, including exemptions from the County’s order, click here. Additionally, we have been in regular contact with the City of Cupertino, which has approved and permitted this demolition activity.
All demolition team members are following state and county guidelines, including those recommended by the County Health Department and the CDC. While there may be a temptation to come out to the site to see the demolition work as it proceeds, we request that you follow government orders and the warnings of health professionals to stay home unless you are going out for essential needs and to maintain social distancing.
Doing the demolition of the bridge now, while traffic volumes on N. Wolfe Road are greatly reduced, will significantly lessen impacts to Cupertino residents, to neighboring businesses, and demolition workers. This work will not affect the operations of Benihana or the restaurants at Main Street Cupertino, including Alexander’s Steakhouse, Ippudo, Lazy Dog, Myungrang Hot Dog, Oren’s Hummus, and Hai Di Lao Hot Pot, which remain open for take-out service. We encourage you to continue supporting these local restaurants.
Demolition Update – 12/5/19
We wanted to take a moment to update you about the demolition of the Vallco Mall, and specifically about the portion of the high AMC wall along Wolfe Road that resulted in a dust plume on November 14, 2019 that was captured on video and shared with media outlets, sparking interest in the safety of the ongoing demolition work.
First and foremost, we take the matter of job site safety very seriously. Accordingly, we suspended demolition operations for the last few weeks in order to allow the City of Cupertino, Cal/OSHA and Bay Area Air Quality Management District to review and weigh in on our contractor’s operation. The Sheriff’s Office also conducted its own review of the event. We are pleased to report the results of these reviews, as follows:
- The City of Cupertino determined there was, and has been, no safety violation of the demolition permit for work done to date, including on November 14th.
- Cal/OSHA determined there was no safety violation of their demolition permit either.
- BAAQMD conducted multiple random inspections of demolition operations at the site and in every case found the project to be in compliance with air quality regulations.
- The Sheriff’s Office also concluded there was no safety issue related to demolition activity on November 14th.
Even though the demolition operation passed these reviews as we expected it to, we have agreed to the City’s request to establish additional safety measures for the remainder of the current demolition work. The hope is this will not only ensure continued safety but help to put people’s minds at ease. For details of the additional measures, you can review our letter to the City dated November 22, 2019 outlining the voluntary arrangement here.
With these additional safety measures now in place, demolition of the remaining mall structures resumed this week.
Sand Hill statement re: 11/14/19
A note to our neighbors:
A video of the Vallco mall demolition posted online has been the subject of news reports suggesting that the demolition improperly occurred. While this video and its commentary may look sensational due to the dust and insulation blowout, at no time was there any risk to the public.
The wall came down and landed in the zone cleared for it. A safety vehicle was positioned adjacent to the fall area, and two lanes of traffic were shut down next to the established landing area. The wall was also tethered to control the fall.
Other than the very temporary dust and soft insulation that escaped the perimeter of the site, the demolition activity occurred entirely within the areas established for it. All dust and insulation that escaped the demolition perimeter was immediately swept up.
We are continuing to review the means and methods being deployed by the demolition contractor to ensure that the remaining structures are brought down as planned, and that the safety of the demolition workers and the public is protected through the safety perimeter established, as it was in this instance.
We apologize for any confusion that may have arisen from the video that, without context, has painted a false picture of the activity.
Fall 2019 Demolition Update
As of September 26, we have completed demolition of the former TGI Friday’s and Alexander’s Steakhouse sites, and the old Macy’s garage on the north side of the mall. We have also finished demolition of the two parking garages on the west side of the mall.
Demolition is now focused on the main portions of the mall west of Wolfe Road, comprising the remainder of ZONES A2 and C1, where the former Sears/Bay Club was, on the enclosed map. Work will occur simultaneously on the Sears site on the south side and the old Macy’s site on the north side, and will likely last for several months.
General scheduled demolition hours continue to be weekdays from 7AM-6PM. While our permits allow for work into evenings and weekends, we prioritize this shorter business-hours schedule wherever possible to minimize disruptions to the community and our neighbors.
Summer 2019 Demolition Update
We have obtained the necessary permits to begin the next phase of demolition at Vallco on Monday, August 12. This new phase, “Zone A2” will begin with the former Macy’s facilities and include most of the remaining mall west of Wolfe Rd. This phase of demolition will last through the end of the year.
We resumed work on August 5 under the original permit for demolition of the two parking garages near the former Sears, and plan to work for approximately 6 weeks to complete demolition of the remaining parking garage.
While we are permitted to work into evenings and weekends, scheduled hours for demolition are anticipated to be weekdays from 7AM-6PM. These shortened hours are intended to keep demolition during normal business hours and minimize disruption.
Spring 2019 Demolition Update
We have completed the demolition of the 156,000 s.f. garage near the former Sears. As part of our ongoing commitment to sustainability, recycling and reuse, we have crushed much of the concrete from the garage to be used in temporary construction roads on the site which will help roadway conditions surrounding the site. We’ve also recycled 190 tons of steel to date as well as lamp posts, rebar, and piping among other materials. This April, we received an exhaustive, 1,234-page report on the environmental condition of the Vallco site from WSP USA, a leading environmental construction and engineering management firm. The report gave the Vallco site a clean bill of health, confirms that the site is appropriate for residential use, and concludes that no further investigation or clean-up is necessary. To eliminate any remaining doubt, we asked the environmental consultant for the Apple Park project to conduct a peer review of these conclusions and they concurred with WSP’s findings. Copies of the full WSP report and the peer review are available here and here, respectively.