Shopping Centers Today

DEC 2018

Shopping Centers Today is the news magazine of the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC)

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We have learned that parking can either be forgettable, which is what we want it to be, or it can be memorable — and rarely is it a good memory 86 S C T / D E C E M B E R 2 0 1 8 redevelopment was on track for an October 2018 opening, following two years of remodels to the interior spaces. A ShowPlace Icon Theatres cinema is scheduled to open next month. Work is under way also toward the next phase: a 650,000-square-foot expansion of the center's south side, on Stevens Creek Boulevard. This will house 100 stores, including a Bloomingdale's flagship and 10 restaurants, all connecting to the 200 existing stores. The addition of two center courts will allow for more public events. A 20-year-old parking garage was torn down to make way for a grand entrance. This renovation reflects the region's high-tech industry and entrepreneurial attitude, which owe much to nearby tech companies such as Google and Facebook. "We lead the country in patents, and they opened a patent office for the first time ever outside Washington, D.C., in San Jose, two years ago, because we have so many people generating patents here," said Vallee. "The current economy is very good." Let it never be said that Unibail- Rodamco-Westfield has been remiss in its own tech investment, Vallee says. "It starts when you leave your house," he said. "Our app and our website have the live parking counts for every floor of every garage, so it will lead you to the right parking garage before you get here." There is also 4G cellular coverage and Wi-Fi throughout the mall, along with digital directories and ad panels. "We have learned that parking can either be forgettable, which is what we want it to be, or it can be memorable — and rarely is it a good memory," said Vallee. "If you come through the door happy, you are going to spend more [money] and spend more time. If you come in irritated, it can't help the shopping experience." The expansion will boost the entertainment portion of the mall's total gross leasable area by some 15 percent, and the food component is to increase by about 20 percent. "We want to be able to capture the local customer, and we have always been great with the typical jewelry, clothes and shoes," said Vallee. "We have mastered that, but there are other segments, like entertainment, food and health-and-wellness, and we barely have our toe in the water in those things." Vallee says the developers want as many of the center's aspects as possible to be memorable to visitors. "If they just say we have phenomenal flooring or have just the right tenant, we probably didn't do our job," he said. "We like them to come for five to 10 reasons, because that keeps them coming back." Q S I T E S & C I T I E S more food tenants at the center after the redevelopment is over 20%

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